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


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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron appeal to the audience during the Question Time special
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
Michelle Dockery plays Lady Mary in Downton Abbey
peopleBut who comes top of the wish list?
Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, right, with Lib Dem candidate Jane Dodds in Newtown, Powys, as part of her tour in support of the party’s female candidates
general electionNick Clegg's wife has impressed during the campaign
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living