They have constantly been in competition when it comes to taking the England wicket-keeping gloves, but Jonny Bairstow is convinced he and Lancashire’s Jos Buttler are not in a battle to stand behind the stumps.
The Yorkshire ‘keeper has become a staple part of his country’s Test plans, the No.1 choice since taking over from Matt Prior in 2014 after being in and out of the team since 2012.
But with England’s summer now heading to Twenty20 and One-Day International cricket, the time has come for Bairstow to hand the reins to Buttler for six matches against the West Indies.
That’s despite the 27-year-old boasting one of his best summers behind the stumps, adamant his shared role is not one that bothers him on the main stage.
“You can’t really make comparisons the two of us at the moment, whoever keeps wicket keeps wicket, and it doesn’t really matter who bats where or anything like that,” he said.
“It’s not a competition or anything like that, Jos has done it for a little while now in the one-day format.
“It gives you a little bit of freedom and your hands get a break as well!
“But that’s not to say I’ll be taking a back seat with my keeping, I think it went well over the summer in the Tests, and like with anything, that is a part of your game where you can be in form.”
Buttler is undoubtedly one of England’s most exciting one-day talents, therefore making Bairstow arguably in the best seat in the house to watch his compatriot strut his stuff.
With the Lancastrian also boasting England’s three fastest ODI centuries, Bairstow certainly knows he is a star worth keeping an eye on after being part of his country’s revolutionary new approach to the format.
And with Buttler playing a key role in England’s world record score of 444-3 last year, the Yorkshireman is confident he can be a key part in a 50-over game that could hit even greater heights.
“We’ve seen some freakish innings, some freakish chases and scores that have been set and it’s great to be a part of it, who knows how far we can go with that,” he added.
“There will be someone that goes and scores 480 or 500 at some point, it’s going to be a long way off with ten an over for 50 overs, but who says you can’t.
“We’ve finished the Test summer on a high, but we know that going down to Australia is a very different challenge and one that we have to be ready for.
“We want to continue that form now though, it is an old cliché, but keeping that momentum heading into an away series is key.
Jonny Bairstow was speaking on behalf of Royal London, proud sponsors of One Day cricket, ahead of the upcoming ODI Series v West Indies.