Jonny Bairstow cleared to play in fourth Test against India

Last Modified Wednesday, 29 August 2018 (11:34 IST)
London: After fracturing a finger in the third against India, England 
wicket-keeper has been cleared to play in the fourth, though whether 
that will be as a specialist batsman or not is yet to be decided.

donned the gloves in the third Test after Bairstow was forced to 
leave the field when a ball caught him painfully and fractured his finger. Although he 
will feature at least as a specialist batsman, retaining his role as wicket-keeper is high 
on the Yorkshireman's list of priorities, an ICC report on Tuesday said.
 "The finger feels good, the swelling has gone down, and it is a lot better than I thought 
it was going to be. I am going to try and keep wicket in training," he said ahead of 
Thursday's bout in Southampton.
"You obviously want to play so, if I am not able to keep wicket, then I'd like to think 
I would play as a specialist batsman," Bairstow said. "But at the same time, I am desperate to try and keep my place as the keeper," he
When the idea was proposed to him that he might flourish more with the bat without the added responsibility of keeping wicket, Bairstow was keen to dispel such a notion. "I think that is quite a bold statement," he remarked.
"If you look, my stats are better when I am keeping wicket as well, so you are entering 
uncharted territories when you make bold statements like that, Bairstow said."I am very keen to keep my spot as keeper, because I like to think it has gone well over the last 38, 39 Test matches," he said.
The last Test match to be played at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton was in 2014, 
when lost out to by 266 runs, and while the hosts will be keen to replicate 
this feat, India are full of confidence after their impressive win at Trent Bridge brought the 
series back to 2-1 with two matches still to play.
"It is going to be a great contest," said Bairstow."Obviously we are 2-1 up in the series, but India played well in that last game. In the last Test match that was played here, it was a comprehensive win, so we will turn up excited 
and raring to go," Bairstow said.
"We are full of confidence still. There is no harm in halfway through a series not necessarily 
putting in our strongest performance, because it makes you come back and want to put the 
record straight," he added.(UNI)