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Jonny Bairstow reveals how his anke has held up during Ashes after horrific leg break

After keeping wicket in the Ashes, Jonny Bairstow was left confident that his ankle will hold up to the gruelling schedule ahead of the World Cup in October.

Ahead of the international summer, Bairstow was awarded the gloves in place of specialist wicketkeeper Ben Foakes, as his abilities with bat in hand during the first Bazball summer in 2022 earned him a place in the XI.

In September 2022, Bairstow suffered a freak injury, a horrific leg break on the golf course, but just nine months later he had returned to the Test fold and with the additional stress on the body of keeping wicket.

He hit out at critics of his keeping during the third Test match at Old Trafford, calling some of the comments arguing for Foakes’ return “out of order”.

But Bairstow was left pleased with how his body held up throughout the series, although when focus shifts to the white ball format, it will be a new challenge when he takes his role in the field and as a specialist batter.

“I feel good. The ankle has held up really well. I’m delighted with how it’s held up,” he said.

“There’s naturally an unknown when you’re coming back from it. There’s times when you can turn or you can keep on it or twist on it or whatever.

“I don’t know what actually makes it flare up or if it does but it hasn’t done so that’s a fantastic thing for me and gives me a huge amount of confidence going onwards into the white ball stuff where I’ll probably be out in the field a lot more so it’s a different thing completely again.”

He added: “I haven’t actually done it [fielding] yet, but it’s something I’m excited to do and I’m delighted as to how it has held up.”

“I’m delighted with how free I’m feeling at the moment. You mentioned about not looking hampered with my batting and running between the wickets and I think that’s a great sign.”

While Bairstow remained cautious over whether he would be able to take up his usual role as a sweeper on the boundary during the white-ball games, it was positive from a player who has admitted that, at one point, he did not know if he would be able to walk again.

Zak Crawley was England’s top run-scorer in the Ashes series

(Action Images via Reuters)

While Bairstow was the star of 2022, it was Zak Crawley who finished as England’s highest run scorer of this series. The last England opener to score more runs than the Kent batter was Michael Atherton in 1993, five years before Crawley was born, but it was a stat that pleased the 25-year-old.

“I didn’t know that. I’m pleased with that stat, that’s a good one,” he said.

However with England not playing Test cricket again until the new year when a trip to India calls, it could be a different challenge for Crawley.

“I don’t really know much about their grounds,” he said.

“Sometimes in India it seams and swings a bit and they’ve got unbelievable seamers as well so hopefully there are a couple of pitches there that are like that as well, that will suit us a bit more.

“If it’s spinning, I feel like we play spin really well as well, we’ll just have to adapt [and] see what we get. But they are pretty unknown grounds.

“I don’t know if they’re going to be raggers like Ahmedabad and Chennai where we were last time.”

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