Jonny Bairstow’s Test career is all but over after West Indies snub as Rob Key offers big update

Jonny Bairstow, Rob Key

England men’s team chief executive Rob Key has hinted that Jonny Bairstow’s Test career may be over. England recently announced their squad for the first two Tests of the upcoming three-match series against the West Indies and Jonny Bairstow failed to make the list.

Along with him, Ben Foakes has been ruled out of the squad, with England deciding to try out uncapped wicketkeeper-batsman Jamie Smith. With England looking to rebuild the Test team after the humiliating defeat in India earlier this year, Rob Key has said the only way for Jonny Bairstow to regain his place in the Test team is to regain the form that made him an integral part of the team two summers ago.

In 2022, when Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum took over as captain and coach respectively, Jonny Bairstow had been impressive throughout the home season. In five matches, he had scored 4 centuries to help England get off to an explosive start under Stokes.

However, things have gone downhill since Jonny Bairstow returned to action after spending almost a year on the sidelines following a freak accident on a golf course that left him with a broken leg. The right-handed batsman had a terrible showing in India earlier this year, where his best score in 10 innings was just 38.

Rob Key on Jonny Bairstow’s Test career:

Following the squad announcement, Rob Key explained the reason behind Jonny Bairstow being dropped from the Test squad. He claimed that the veteran batsman’s form has been going in the wrong direction across all formats. Key also highlighted that the England team management was not convinced that Bairstow could perform as a wicketkeeper series after series at his age, hinting that England may have dropped their player for Tests.

“People are never happy when they get dumped, and I never want them to be,” Key said.

“Jonny just needs to get back to what he was a couple of years ago. Overall, his performances, across all formats, have gone slightly in the wrong direction.

“You want it to go back to what it was when Brendon and Ben… [Stokes] “He’s started off really well. Being a goalkeeper is a tough job. You want someone who can back up series after series and we weren’t convinced Jonny could do that, especially at the stage of his career he’s at,” Key added.