JONNY BAIRSTOW has admitted his frustration at likely being left out of England’s ODI side for the upcoming Champions Trophy.
The wicketkeeper-batsman is a class act in all forms of the game for county Yorkshire and his country, and is a shoo-in for the test side.
For all the latest cricket news and results visit our dedicated cricket section
But despite 72 off 44 balls against Ireland recently at Lord’s, and stunning performances for Yorkshire, he looks set to miss out on the XI during the 50-over tournament.
That is down to the strong state of English limited overs cricket under the captaincy of Eoin Morgan, whereas just a few years ago the 27-year-old would have walked into the side.
Jos Buttler is set to don the gloves, while the favouring of two spinners means Moeen Ali will get the nod over him – and he also will struggle to displace openers Jason Roy or Alex Hales, never mind guaranteed picks such as Morgan, Root or Ben Stokes.
But it is still galling for Bairstow, who says he will just to work harder to try and give England selectors no option but to pick him.
He told SunSport: “Yes of course you want to be playing in sides that everyone is pushing to be the best that they can, so it is frustrating.
“We’re in a good place as a squad at the moment going in to a global completion like the Champions trophy on home soil, and ultimately selection has nothing to do with me.
“Every time I play I want to score as many runs as I can, I want to influence the game. So I’m not really thinking about selection too much.
“I’m just happy that when I’m playing I’m trying to contribute. So if I’m in the side, then fantastic, if I’m not then I’ll be working ahrd to try and get myself in the team. We carry on trying our best.”
English cricket is on a high at the moment with competition for places in all formats – and Bairstow has had to improve his own wicket-keeping and batting to keep up with the pace of development.
IPL 2017: Indian Premier League schedule, results and fixtures from the 10th edition of the T20 tournament
Colour blind Gary Ballance faces England KO because he can’t see the pink ball used for day-night Test matches
Cricket on the box
How can I watch the IPL? What time are the matches? When will the final be played?
champing at the bit
How you can watch England at the ICC Champions trophy with 34,000 extra tickets to go on sale today
too many cooks?
Alastair Cook admits it will be ‘surreal’ not being test captain while watching new man Joe Root
crick into place
When does the 2017 domestic cricket season start? Dates, teams & format changes – all the info
Tendulkar’s a belieber
Twitter goes crazy for striking resemblance between Justin Bieber and Sachin Tendulkar’s son
Kevin Pietersen wastes no time in starting campaign to get him back in England team as Alastair Cook quits
‘too much money’
Kevin Pietersen blasted by Australia coach Darren Lehmann for being an overpaid under-performer
stoking the fire
England star Ben Stokes reprimanded after foul mouthed clash with India captain Virat Kohli
just not cricket
English counties overwhelmingly vote for a revolutionary city-based T20 cricket competition
Eoin Morgan notches a brilliant ton against India, but England lose series after falling just short of huge total
Bang up for it
Ben Duckett says making his Test debut against Bangladesh on Thursday would be the “cherry on top of a crazy few months”
Ruled out of tour
England batsman Alex Hales will miss the rest of England’s one-day tour of India following hand injury
England’s Ashes tour of Australia hits issues with new Perth stadium not yet ready to host
Speaking at the launch of Foster’s new cricket inspired escape room game, “The Melbourne 1888 Challenge”, he added: “We’re in a very strong position aren’t we? It is quite fortunate that we are well placed in all facets of the English game.
“We have the one day competition coming up here, the Champions Trophy, then 2019 World Cup in the white ball then we go South Africa West Indies here this summer, the we go down for the Ashes. It’s an exciting place to be and I relish it every day.
“But I know there’s more to work on in my game. If you look at last year i was very pleased to break both keepig and batting records, but at the same time there were opportunities for me to score more and take more catches, take more stumpings.
“So there are naturally things that you want to improve, that only comes by time. And over a period of time if you’re moving in the right direction constantly then you’re only improving.”
Joe Root has taken over as test captain from Alastair Cook, who stepped down in February after five years and 59 Tests in charge as the most successful England skipper – but he did lose five of his last six matches.
And as fellow Yorkshireman Root represents the new era this summer, Bairstow does not want Cook’s remarkable achievements to be forgotten.
He said: “Let’s not forget the amazing job that Cookie did. To captain the side for five years, to win in India, to score the amount of runs that he did while captain was a phenomenal job.
“And that’s kind of gone understated if I’m honest.
“But it’s an exciting time for us moving forward and everyone is behind Joe. There’ll be a wealth of experience for him to call upon, obviously with Cookie opening and Broady (Stuart Broad), Jimmy (Anderson) and the rest of the guys now having played a decent amount of Test cricket.
“So there’s going to be a stamp that he makes on it, that’s only natural, it’s going to be Joe’s way and Joe’s way of captaining, and leading the side where he wants to take the team.”
The Melbourne 1888 Challenge, presented by Foster’s is open on for a strictly limited time on 24th & 25th May 2017. For tickets, head to @FostersUK.