Dawning of a new era as England pick Jonny Bairstow

Yorkshire batsman gets nod ahead of Taylor to make debut in the first Test against West Indies

Northampton

There was the sense yesterday of a new era dawning in English cricket. Jonny Bairstow, the 22-year-old Yorkshire batsman, was chosen to play in his first Test in the opening match of the series against West Indies, which begins at Lord's on Thursday.

He was narrowly preferred by the selectors to James Taylor, of Nottinghamshire, who is 102 days younger. It was Taylor who mustered a hundred for England Lions against the tourists in their final practice match which ended here yesterday, but Bairstow's half-century and his two previous Championship centuries for his county this season persuaded the panel that his time was at hand.

Both players were no doubt part of the initial discussions about the team but their relevance increased as soon as Ravi Bopara suffered a leg injury while playing for Essex at Chelmsford on Friday. Bopara was in the original squad of 13 before he suffered the grade-two tear to his right quadriceps, as he was for the first Test last year when a Lions hundred for Eoin Morgan prompted a change of course.

The poor chap must feel that the world is unfair and he might also agonise that the chance of resuming his Test career has gone forever. Still only 27, his best years should be ahead of him but a new brigade of cricketers is turning the selectors' heads in a different direction. Bopara, desperate to add to his 12 caps, needs to go away and put himself back in the frame according to Geoff Miller, the national selector.

Taylor, too, must score runs for Notts regularly if he is to entice continuing attention. Before his captain's hundred for the Lions the feeling was that he had slipped down the list of candidates. The England batting order is a static entity – four of its members have 328 caps between them – but when Taylor and Bairstow were assembling a partnership of 106 against West Indies on Friday the sentiment was universally shared that here was the future and that both could have durable Test careers.

Miller said: "We had a long discussion. It was a close call. This does not close the door on James Taylor by any means. I've had a chat with him, told him the decision and the reasons why.

"Jonny's got the nod. He obviously played well against an international attack, but he's been doing well for Yorkshire for two years. But the point is now there are quite a few players knocking on the door"

Bairstow will become the 13th player whose father also appeared in Tests for England. His late father, David, won four caps. Bairstow Jnr was not required to bat a second time yesterday as the Lions cantered home by 10 wickets with Joe Root, another Yorkshireman, scoring 115 not out, which contained 16 fours in its 143 balls.

As if defeat were not bad enough, West Indies had problems with their bowling attack. Kemar Roach, having twisted an ankle, was hit on a hand, and Ravi Rampaul bowled only four overs.

England's squad is predictable, containing five seam bowlers, of whom three will almost certainly play. Miller suggested that Andy Flower, the coach, and Andrew Strauss, the captain, had the option to leave out a batsman, but in the conditions likely to prevail the usual balance of six batsmen, a wicketkeeper batsman, three seamers and a spinner will compose the team.

One of Steve Finn, Tim Bresnan or Graham Onions will accompany Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad. If Onions is the form man, Bresnan is a winner (11 wins from Test appearances) and he played in England's last Test.

England squad: first test

Players' Age and number of Tests

AJ Strauss (capt)35 94

AN Cook 2777

IJL Trott 31 28

KP Pietersen 31 83

IR Bell 30 74

JM Bairstow 22 n/a

MJ Prior (wkt) 30 52

TT Bresnan 27 11

SCJ Broad 25 45

JM Anderson 29 68

ST Finn 23 13

GP Swann 33 41

G Onions 29 8

 

First test 17-21 May, Lord's

TV Sky Sports 1, from 10am

Highlights Channel 5, 7pm

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Voices
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn