Cricket: Bairstow relishing wicket-keeping battle

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Jonny Bairstow is prepared for the battle over the wicketkeeper-batsman role in England’s limited overs teams in the years ahead.

The Yorkshire batsman, 23, would relish following in father David’s footsteps in donning the gloves in England’s one day cause.

However, he finds Jos Buttler staking the strongest claim at the moment and the 22-year-old from Somerset is the man in possession right now although they look set to fight it out for many years yet.

“There’s naturally going to be competition for places and Jos has got the gloves at the moment but I’ll keep working hard,” said Bairstow.

“We’ll push each other I’m sure and I’m looking forward to it. I’m working hard on my keeping every day in every session and I’ll do my best if the opportunity arises to step in and I’ll try to take that chance,

With Bairstow missing part of the India trip at Christmas when he returned home due to family illness, limited-overs coach Ashley Giles gave Buttler the job for England’s Twenty20 series in New Zealand.

He played in Saturday’s opening victory against the Black Caps in Auckland and he kept the place for the second match in Hamilton today.

Bairstow will settle for his place in the side as a batsman but when Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott arrive this week for the start of the three-match ODI series, he may well find himself missing out.

Bairstow is one of only five players to be in all three squads on this NZ tour. Sheffield’s Joe Root is another one although he was a late replacement for the T20 squad and hasn’t figured so far.

However, his inclusion has ensured he has got experience of the local conditions.