‘Not fit’: Former England goalkeeper resolves debate between Ben Foakes and Jonny Bairstow

England's Ben Foakes, Jonny Bairstow

As England are set to tour India for a five-match Test series, the Three Lions are currently in Abu Dhabi and will arrive in India three days before the first Test match in Hyderabad on January 25. The Ben Stokes-led team will be aiming to continue their attacking style of cricket, which they have been playing in the red-ball format for the last two years.

England was able to level the Ashes 2023 series after losing the first two games and came back strongly in the series by winning two of the last three games. However, the English team had a humiliating campaign in the 2023 ODI World Cup and finished seventh in the points table.

While England will try to find the right team balance and select their perfect playing XI. England would also want to pick the perfect batsman as they have picked Ben Foakes and Jonny Bairstow for the tour. However, former England wicketkeeper-batsman Bob Taylor believes that England should pick Foakes as their wicketkeeper-batsman in the Test series in India.

Bob Taylor thought he noticed that Jonny Bairstow was unfit last summer, while Ben Foakes He scored a hundred against Sri Lanka in Galle in his first Test match. Taylor further said that Bairstow put on a lot of weight during the Ashes series against Australia which could also affect your confidence.

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While speaking to ‘The Telegraph’, Bob Taylor said: “I was there watching in Galle when Ben Foakes scored a hundred on debut. I would have persevered with him, but the next thing you know, he was dumped. “The only thing I noticed last summer was that Jonny Bairstow wasn’t fit.”

“He had a serious injury and came back and had put on a bit of weight and that can affect your concentration. I would go with Ben to India, where you stay in the heat and humidity all day.”

Jonny Bairstow showed a failed batting display during the last tour of India in the year 2021. Ben Foakes also got a chance in the last tour of India and was brilliant behind the wickets. If Ben Foakes is chosen for the first Test, he could prove very efficient for his team.

England are the only team to have beaten India in India in a Test series in the last 12 years. However, England lost the last two Test series against India in India by margins of 4-0 and 3-1.

On the other hand, India is one of the best teams in the current era of international cricket and is almost unbeatable today. India put up a brilliant performance on the South African tour and was able to level the two-match series 1-1.

India also played in the two finals of the World Test Championship, however, they are yet to win any title. The IND vs ENG series is very important for the current WTC cycle and both teams will be willing to win the series and add the necessary points to the table.