London – Jonny Bairstow is “very keen” to keep wicket for England in the fourth Test against India at Southampton despite a broken finger as the hosts look to seal the five-match series.
It was understood when England announced their 14-man squad last week that even if the Yorkshire man was passed fit to play on Thursday, he was likely to feature as a specialist batsman.
The home team are seeking to recover from a 203-run thrashing in Nottingham that cut their lead to 2-1.
But Bairstow was planning to test the injury with his wicketkeeping gloves on in training at the Ageas Bowl on Tuesday.
“The swelling has gone down,” he said. “I‘m going to try and keep wicket in training this afternoon as well.”
England have a ready-made replacement in Jos Buttler, who took over from Bairstow after the Yorkshireman injured his left middle finger, taking a delivery from James Anderson during England‘s heavy defeat at Trent Bridge.
“You obviously want to play, so If I‘m not able to keep wicket then I would like to think I‘ll be a specialist batsman,” the 28-year-old said.
“But at the same time I‘m desperate to try and keep my place as the wicketkeeper.
“I‘m very, very keen to keep my spot as the wicketkeeper — because I would like to think it‘s gone pretty well over the last 38/39 Test matches that I‘ve been keeping for England.”