Jonny Bairstow will remain with England team in New Zealand ahead of the two-Test series as cover for injured top-order batsman Joe Denly.

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Jonny Bairstow called up to Test team as injury cover for Joe Denly
Jonny Bairstow called up to Test team as injury cover for Joe Denly

Bairstow was a notable absentee from the original team, dropped after averaging just 20.25.

Bairstow is presently in New Zealand for the ongoing five-match T20 series, and the ligament injury Denly continued to his right ankle on the eve of the opener has led to England adding the Yorkshireman to the Test team.

Yorkshire and England batsman Jonny Bairstow has been added to the Test team for the two-match Test series against New Zealand as back-up for the injured Kent batsman Joe Denly.

Jonny Bairstow called up to Test team as injury cover for Joe Denly

Bairstow is set to be around for the two warm-ups in Whangarei and conclusion will then be taken on whether he stays on for the first Test in Mount Maunganui.

The decision will be dependent on Denly, who is confident of being fit for England’s second preparation match, a three-day warm-up starting.

Denly is out of the defending moon boot he wore after rolling his ankle in training the day before England started their winter schedule in Christchurch.

Jonny Bairstow called up to Test team as injury cover for Joe Denly
Jonny Bairstow called up to Test team as injury cover for Joe Denly

He trained ahead of the fourth T20 in Napier, taking part in some light jogging, before having a few kind throws downs in the Nelson Park nets.

Joe Denly injury threw his tour into doubt, he had been expected to retain his place after registering half-centuries in each of the last three Ashes Tests.

At Manchester and The Oval, Denly opened the batting, if he can prove his fitness, it is anticipated he will drop down a place as part of a new-look top order.

Jonny Bairstow called up to Test team as injury cover for Joe Denly
Jonny Bairstow called up to Test team as injury cover for Joe Denly

England’s red-ball experts have arrived in Auckland alongside Darren Gough, who will act as a consultant for the fast bowlers ahead of the two Tests.

Batting coach Graham Thorpe has broken away from the T20 group to link up with the Test team, which will travel to Whangarei with the rest of the squad and management.

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