Bairstow lost the gloves to Jos Buttler for the fourth Test against India after breaking his finger at Trent Bridge
Jonny Bairstow will return as England’s wicketkeeper for the fifth and final Test against India at The Oval, the England and Wales Cricket Board have confirmed.
The 28-year-old Yorkshireman will get his gloves back from Jos Buttler after proving he has recovered sufficiently from his broken finger.
The switch comes after Bairstow broke his finger on day three of the third Test at Trent Bridge, and was then forced to play as a specialist batsman during the fourth Test in Southampton as the injury healed.
England completed a series victory over India with a 60-run success at the Ageas Bowl, and it was thought highly likely Buttler would retain the gloves for the final Test of the summer.
But it was Bairstow, rather than Buttler, who was busy with his wicketkeeping drills as England prepared at The Oval over the past two days.
Then, shortly before captain Joe Root addressed an early-afternoon press conference on Thursday, a statement on the ECB website read: “Jonny Bairstow will keep wicket after recovering from a broken middle finger.”
On the same topic, Root added: “I hope (Jonny) uses it as a real driving force to keep improving.”
Root also spoke about the moment England’s all-time record runscorer Alastair Cook informed him this Test would be the last of his career.
Asked for his reaction when Cook confided in him of his decision to retire from international cricket last week, he paused before saying: “Sad.
“It’s been an outstanding career – 12 years at the top of the order.
“To have a record like that is some feat, especially in these (English) conditions for the majority of it.”
England have stuck with the same XI which beat India in Southampton to take an unassailable 3-1 lead.