A knee injury to Kevin Pietersen has put him out of the final match against New Zealand with Bairstow called in as his replacement.
It was announced on Wednesday that an injury to Kevin Pietersen’s right knee would keep him out of action for up to eight weeks, meaning he will miss England’s deciding Test of the series against New Zealand.
Yorkshire batsman Jonny Bairstow has been called in to replace Pietersen as a like-for-like swap in the middle-order of England’s batsmen.
Bairtsow has been with the English touring squad for the current series in New Zealand and the previous tour of India.
However the 23-year-old has had little playing time in international cricket during that time, with his last match a Twenty20 victory over the Kiwis and his last Test appearance coming back in November 2012 in Mumbai.
England captain Alastair Cook thinks his side will miss Pietersen but is confident in his replacement’s ability.
“He’s [Pietersen] a great player, and will be missed but it gives an opportunity for Jonny Bairstow coming in,” Cook was quoted on Sky Sports.
“He’s probably been a little unlucky not to be selected earlier, through circumstance this winter, so he has a great opportunity to try and end this winter well.”
Bairstow has played five Tests for for his country so far, top-scoring with 95 and averaging a little under 33.
It is an unexpected opportunity for the young batsman and he will be looking to impress his captain and the England selectors as the Ashes loom on the horizon this summer.
Pietersen meanwhile will definitely miss the IPL season for the Delhi Daredevils but is expected to be back before the five Test series against Australia, starting in July.