England Test captain Joe Root has revealed on Monday (October 29) that there is still some cloud on the participation of Jonny Bairstow in the first Test against Sri Lanka, starting from November 6.
However, Root is confident that Jos Buttler has the ability to do well with the gloves in the absence of premier Test wicket-keeper Bairstow in Sri Lanka.
Bairstow, who picked up an ankle ligament injury while playing football ahead of the fourth one-day international against Sri Lanka, is still in the recovery process and Root said he was making faster progress than was expected, but still remained a doubtful starter for the series opener.
However, Root admitted that it would be a big loss for him if Bairstow failed to recover in time, but expressed confidence in Buttler's ability to do a good job for England in his absence in Sri Lanka.
Root told BBC Sport, “Although Jonny will be a big loss; we've got great players that can come in and rebalance the team. It's day-by-day with Jonny at the minute. He's actually made good strides and recovered a little bit quicker than we anticipated, but it's still a long way to go. It's obviously a big three-match series, so we need to weigh all that up and make a decision closer to the first game.”
Buttler usually plays as a specialist batsman in the Tests, but Root hinted at him sporting the gloves, despite the call-up to Ben Foakes, the Surrey wicket-keeper, as cover for Bairstow.
The Test skipper further added, “That will probably be the likely scenario. But the reason we called Ben up is because he's a high-quality keeper and we give ourselves another way of balancing the side out and give ourselves a chance of winning. These are all different options we've given ourselves going into this series and it's a really nice position to be in.”
Root signed off by saying, “I've got a strong idea of what the core of it looks like, but we have got some great options. We are going to make sure we've got a very balanced side that gives ourselves the best chance of winning in these conditions.”
(Input: BBC Sport)