Joe Denly, unfortunately, won’t be a part of the England squad anymore as he suffered an ankle injury in training and Bairstow has been called in as a replacement to cover for Denly. As a result, Bairstow will remain with the squad after the conclusion of the T20 series after the final game will be played at Eden Park on Sunday.
The ECB said that Denly suffered ligament damage to his right ankle while training ahead of the first T20I last week. Although the 33-year-old was a part of some light training on Thursday, including having some throwdowns, England’s management has decided it is better to take caution and added Bairstow to the Test party.
Joe Denly was very impressive in his improved performances during the summer’s Ashes series and he hopes to be fit for the three-day warm-up game beginning on November 15. If he misses that deadline, it is highly unlikely he will be a part of the team for the first Test at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. That could open the door for his Kent teammate Zak Crawley to make a Test debut in the top three.
Bairstow was left out of England’s original Test squad after a poor Ashes. He averaged just 23.77 from five matches with just one half-century. At the time of the squad announcement for the New Zealand tour, Ed Smith, England’s national selector, said Bairstow’s exclusion was “an opportunity for Jonny to reset” but that he expected the Yorkshire man to come back stronger.
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