After suffering from a broken finger in the third Test against India at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham, England wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow is set to play as a specialist batsman in the fourth Test in Southampton, only if he is cleared to play by the medical team, head coach Trevor Bayliss said. The stylish Bairstow fractured his left middle finger while keeping on day three of the Trent Bridge test, where India defeated England by a huge margin of 203 runs. The hosts would be without a key figure in their playing XI if Bairstow is not cleared for his participation in the Southampton Test, starting from August 30.
"We have got to check with the medical guys in the next few days. They're suggesting he may not be able to keep but might be able to bat. We'll have to see how it responds," Bayliss told the British media.
Meanwhile, England have named batsman James Vince as the cover for Bairstow, while wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler could once again don the gloves.
Bairstow will most probably be relieved from his keeping duties due to his injury to help him focus on his batting.
"That'll be the hard thing, trying to convince Jonny," Bayliss said, adding that "a decision will be taken from the team's point of view. He is a world-class batter, we know that, one of the difficult things might be convincing Jonny of that.
"If that was the way we went, it would certainly be a deep conversation. Jonny's a reasonable bloke... we know he wants to keep but there would be a lot of explaining and chatting."
The hosts England still lead the five-match Test series by 2-1, but the 203-run defeat to India at Trent Bridge was a setback to their brilliant run at home.