Jonny Bairstow has spoken of his pride at being named in the England squad for the third Ashes Test and insisted the hosts can hit back against Australia at Edgbaston next week.
The Yorkshire batsman has replaced his county colleague Gary Ballance for the match at Edgbaston starting next Wednesday, in the only change to the side hammered by 405 runs at Lord’s.
Bairstow’s call-up comes on the back of a superb week at North Marine Road as he hit 139 and 74 not out to help Yorkshire beat Worcestershire.
“I’m really pleased to have got the call-up,” said Bairstow, who will bat at number five in Birmingham, with Joe Root moving up to number four and Ian Bell to number three.
“I think consistency-wise it’s the best I’ve been, and I’m pleased to be striking the ball like that at the moment and hopefully it continues.
“It will be a completely different challenge to what I’ve faced so far this season in the county game, and I’m well aware of that.
“International cricket is always a challenge, but that’s why we play the game and what it’s all about.”
Bairstow, 25, has played 14 Tests, the last against Australia at Sydney in January 2014.
He’s used the intervening period to work on his game and performing for Yorkshire.
“I’ve just tried to get on with my business, be at Yorkshire and score runs for Yorkshire,” added Bairstow, who has made 593 Test runs with a highest score of 95 against South Africa at Lord’s in 2012.
“That’s been my number one aim – to work hard on my game and do well for the club, and I’m pleased with the way it’s gone this year.
“It’s exciting times for English cricket right now – we saw in the one-day series the brand of cricket being played and the way the team went about their business and hopefully we can go to Edgbaston next week and put on a show.
“It was only a week or so ago that we beat Australia in Cardiff, so I think a lot of the criticism since then has been pretty harsh, and it’s going to be an exciting series.”
Focus on Yorkshire’s LVCC win against Worcestershire - See pages 120-121 of this week’s Scarborough News.