England’s batting coach Graham Thorpe said on Friday that wicketkeeper-batsman Johnny Bairstow will join the team after the first match of the Test series against India. Bairstow was initially rested for the first two matches of the four-Test series, but Thorpe said he would be available for the second Test starting in Chennai on 13 February.
Thorpe told the media on Friday, he will join the team after the first Test. Bairstow was supposed to join the team after the second Test, but now his schedule has changed.
England’s decision to rest Bairstow for the first two Tests was criticized by many former players. He was the second highest run-scorer for England during his last series in Sri Lanka, after Captain Joe Root. Bairstow scored 139 runs in four innings at an average of 46.33 in the two Test matches series.
Bairstow was rested for the first two Tests as part of England’s rotation system, with fast bowler Mark Wood and all-rounder Sam Curren. Head coach Chris Silverwood defended the first decision. He told reporters, I am completely happy with this system. We are currently using it. I stand by it.