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“THERE’S NO UNFINISHED BUSINESS" - JONNY BAIRSTOW LOOKS AHEAD TO THE ASHES

"I would have liked a few more runs but you can’t have it all"

A 5-0 hammering came England’s way the last time they toured Australia, but wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow is adamant unfinished business is a thing of the past as they prepare to go Down Under this winter.

The Yorkshireman was an unfortunate witness to the mauling of 2013-14, replacing Matt Prior for the fourth and fifth Tests in a series that had already been well and truly lost.

That may be enough to leave any player permanently scarred, but Bairstow is one to think differently.

Since then the 27-year-old has become the regular gloveman, while Joe Root – dropped for the final Test – is now revelling in the honour of captaincy as the first name on the team sheet.

Bairstow is confident this transition can only benefit England, keen to reflect on the memories of two series victories as opposed to the whitewash humbling.

“What happened last time wasn’t a very good tour for us, so we want to go out there and apply ourselves and our skills, hopefully what we’ve learnt over the past few years,” he said.

“There’s no unfinished business, we’ve got a very different group of players to the ones who went out there and had the disappointment.

“Yes, we’ve got guys who have lost out there, but we’ve also got those who have won in Australia and it’s going to be a fantastic series, but there isn’t a point to prove from the team in that.

“I’ve been fortunate to win two in England, but also lost one in Australia, so there are definitely mixed memories, but it’s a great place to go and tour.

“To get the opportunity to go and apply your trade over there again is something that is really exciting.”

Few have revelled in as much progression since that fateful series as Bairstow, the undoubted first-choice behind the stumps.

The Yorkshire wicketkeeper further stoked those accolades after an impressive summer, pleased with his work against South Africa and the West Indies both with bat and gloves in hand.

But with the likes of Jos Buttler and Ben Foakes waiting in the wings, Bairstow knows as much as anyone how much laurels cannot be rested on.

After all, the early parts of his Test career were very much a bit-part role, one he is not keen to return to any time soon.

“I’m really pleased with my keeping, that was a particular highlight for me over the summer, I would have liked a few more runs but you can’t have it all,” he added.

“That’s the balance of doing both, the way I started the summer against South Africa was positive and I only got three chances against the West Indies, but overall I can be very pleased.

“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.”

Jonny Bairstow was speaking on behalf of Royal London, proud sponsors of One Day cricket, ahead of the upcoming ODI Series v West Indies.

Words by Ross Lawson, Sportsbeat