Say what you like about Craig Kieswetter’s work behind the sticks, at least he owns a pair of gloves. We’ve half a mind that he’ll end up as England’s Test wicketkeeper simply because he’s the only one who spends any time actually keeping wicket.
Today’s Yorkshire report on Cricinfo centres on Jonny Bairstow. The angle is that if Matt Prior can’t prove his fitness, Bairstow may well play as wicketkeeper in the first Test against Sri Lanka. For the record, Prior hasn’t yet kept wicket this season. And nor has Bairstow.
Their other rival, Jos Buttler, is making a concerted effort to make up for not really having been a wicketkeeper in the past by trying to get a full season in behind the stumps for Lancashire. After three matches, he is now away with England.
But back to Bairstow. While he wouldn’t necessarily be our first choice, we do feel that he got the faecal end of the stick during the winter. Having barely played – as either a batsman or as wicketkeeper – he was brought back into the side and scrutinised. An Ashes series is no place to try and get over a bit of rustiness. It was reminiscent of Chris Read’s raw deal in 2006.
We’re not really sold on Bairstow being a wicketkeeper at all, but we also don’t think his recent international performances should be considered ‘the norm’.