Jonny Bairstow returns as England goalkeeper-beater for pre-Ashes Test against Ireland, with Ben Foakes ruled out despite strong form… as Jofra Archer suffers another stress fracture in his elbow
- England will prepare for the Ashes this summer with Lord’s Test against Ireland
- Jonny Bairstow returns to the squad after recovering from his broken leg
- It comes at the expense of Ben Foakes despite a clean year for England
England made the “very difficult decision” to drop Ben Foakes and handed the gloves to Jonny Bairstow when he returned to face Ireland and then in the Ashes.
Chief executive Rob Key announced on Tuesday that Foakes had been left out of a 15-man squad to face Ireland in the Ashes’ England warm-up test at Lord’s on June 1, with Bairstow fully fit after a freak crash on a golf course left him with a badly broken leg.
It means Bairstow will return for the first time since playing for England with six centuries last year in the goalkeeper-batsman dual role he favored before the re-emergence of Foakes left the Yorkshireman with a specialist hitting role.
He will likely beat at seven with his old position of five now taken by Harry Brook.
“It was a very difficult decision to leave Ben Foakes out of the team,” Key said.
Jonny Bairstow returns to England squad to face Ireland at Lord’s after recovering from broken leg and dislocated ankle
He has returned to action for Yorkshire in recent weeks just in time for the Ashes this summer
Ben Foakes has been left out of the Ireland test squad entirely despite being in solid form
England have confirmed that Jofra Archer suffered another stress fracture in his elbow
“He was great for England last year, but Jonny Bairstow is one of the best players in the world whose performances last summer embodied who we are.”
There was also another blow revealed by England on Tuesday when it was announced that Jofra Archer had suffered another stress fracture in his right elbow which required five operations.
Archer returned early from the IPL to treat the injury and has now been officially ruled out of the Ashes and all summer, leaving him with a fight to be involved in England’s World Cup defense at 50 in India in October.
Realistically and hopelessly sad, it’s hard to see him playing Test cricket again.
“It’s been a frustrating and upsetting time for Jofra,” Key said. “He was making good progress until a recurrence of the elbow injury kept him out for a long time before.
“We wish him the best of luck with his recovery and I’m sure we’ll see Jofra back to his best winning games for England in any format.”
There are some intriguing caps and decisions in England’s first team of the summer, including Ollie Pope being officially named vice-captain.
That, and the inclusion of Essex batsman Dan Lawrence in the squad, raises the possibility of captain Ben Stokes missing the game against Ireland after suffering a toe injury in the IPL and still nursing the serious knee problem which seriously affected his bowling.
Mark Wood (left) and Chris Woakes (right) return to their places in England’s bowling attack
Jimmy Anderson is in the squad for the game against Ireland despite a minor groin injury
Captain Ben Stokes could miss the Ireland Test to get fit in time for the Ashes
It is inconceivable to imagine Stokes missing out for the Ashes Test opener at Edgbaston on June 16, even though he only plays as a batsman, but he has shown disdain for warm-up matches before and may well sit out the four-day game against the Irishman.
Chris Woakes returns to the Test squad for the first time since March 2022 and is in contention, with Archer and Olly Stone missing, to make his first home appearance since August 2022.
Jimmy Anderson, who suffered a ‘minor’ groin injury while playing for Lancashire against Somerset last week, is fit and included in the 15 but can be rested.
England squad for the Ireland test
Lord, June 1-4
Captain Ben Stokes (Durham); James Anderson (Lancashire); Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire); Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire); Harry Brook (Yorkshire); Zak Crawley (Kent); Ben Duckett (Nottinghamshire); Dan Lawrence (Essex); Jack Leach (Somerset); Ollie Pope (Surrey); Matthew Potts (Durham); Ollie Robinson (Sussex); Joe Root (Yorkshire); Chris Woakes (Warwickshire); Mark Wood (Durham)