Joe Root off to India after family illness rules out Jonny Bairstow


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The Independent Online

Jonny Bairstow will miss England's one-day tour of India next month owing to a family illness.

The wicketkeeper-batsman, 23, left India prior to the final Twenty20 fixture before Christmas for the same reason and his compassionate leave has now been extended to cover the five-match series next month. He has been replaced in the squad by fellow Yorkshireman Joe Root.

The news continues a disappointing winter for Bairstow, who made nine runs in his only Test innings against India, was left out of the first Twenty20 match and then flew back to England to be with his family.

His absence changes the make- up of the England squad somewhat in view of his status as the back-up wicketkeeper.

Somerset's Jos Buttler, who took the gloves in the second Twenty20 in Mumbai, will now be the secondary stumper to county team-mate Craig Kieswetter.

Root, meanwhile, has been handed an early present ahead of his 22nd birthday tomorrow.

He has yet to play a 50-over match for his country but impressed on his Test bow in Nagpur earlier this month, scoring 73 and 20 not out to help close out a series win.

Bairstow is the third player to be withdrawn from the original touring party, joining the rested duo of James Anderson and Jonathan Trott.

India levelled the two-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan with an exciting 11-run win in Ahmedabad yesterday. Yuvraj Singh and Ashok Dinda were crucial in starring with bat and ball respectively, the former seeing the hosts to 192 for 5 with 72 in 36 balls.

Dinda then took up the battle, dismissing 3 for 36, including Pakistan's top-scorer Mohammad Hafeez for 55.

Hafeez put in India, having won the toss only for Ajinkya Rahane (28) and Gautam Gambhir (21) to put on a bright 44-run opening stand. Umar Gul accounted for both men, bringing together Virat Kohli and Yuvraj.

Kohli made a steady 27 before being run out taking on Saeed Ajmal, but Yuvraj was irrepressible.