Serial match-winner Jonny Bairstow longs for the day when he is back in England’s first-choice 50-over team.
Bairstow (61) – on his home ground at Headingley – and Ben Stokes (69) rescued Eoin Morgan’s team from 72-4 against Pakistan, the pair’s century stand helping the hosts past a target of 247-8 in the fourth Royal London Series match to set a 4-0 lead.
The Yorkshireman got the tap on the shoulder from coach Trevor Bayliss to get his gloves on for wicketkeeping, or his pads ready in the middle order, only two minutes before his captain went out to toss up because Jos Buttler hurt his hamstring in the warm-up.
He has been in the same position before, of course, when he replaced Buttler last summer against New Zealand at Chester-le-Street after his rival split the webbing in his hand. Asked how late the call was this time, he said: “It was about 32 minutes before the start. Trev came over and just said ‘you’re in’.
“I’d got a message this morning saying Jos was fit, so I just prepared as if I was 12th man. (But) you crack on and you get stuck in – you don’t have a choice really, do you?”
Bairstow just wishes he could be a regular.
“Naturally, I’m frustrated not to be in that XI week in, week out,” he said.
“Every time I get an opportunity I want to try to impress, and that’s all I can do.”