England pick Jonny Bairstow ahead of Jos Buttler for third Test against Pakistan

Published: Saturday 31st October 2015 by The News Editor

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Jonny Bairstow will replace Jos Buttler as England’s wicketkeeper against Pakistan, and James Taylor will return to Test cricket after a three-year absence.

Captain Alastair Cook has confirmed those changes, but has not yet said who will replace the rested Mark Wood in England’s bowling attack for the must-win third Test in Sharjah.

It was announced on Friday that Wood, who is managing an ankle injury, would sit out the match.

England will decide on Sunday morning whether they make a like-for-like switch and bring in Liam Plunkett – or, less likely, opt for all-rounder Samit Patel as an extra spinner.

England are 1-0 down with one to play, and therefore must beat Pakistan at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium to avoid a third successive series loss away to these opponents – a run which dates back 10 years.

Cook, who will be fit himself after the minor groin injury which afflicted him in last week’s defeat in Dubai, was clear in his belief that Taylor, who played his only two Tests against South Africa in 2012, is ready for his recall.

“Yes, I firmly believe he is,” he said.

“I’m sure he feels he was harshly treated.

“Sometimes that’s the way of selection – it can be for you and against you.

“He’s gone away over the last three years and he’s a lot different player than what I remember him as.

“He’s itching to play, and you don’t average 47-48 in first-class cricket without being a fine player.”

Published: Saturday 31st October 2015 by The News Editor

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