The thought of Bairstow wicketkeeping in the first Ashes Test worries me immensely, admits Michael Vaughan

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“I wouldn’t put him in the top five keepers in England”

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has admitted that just the thought of Jonny Bairstow wicketkeeping in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane worries him immensely.

However, Vaughan may have to watch his fears unfold as Bairstow is highly likely to replace vice-captain and regular wicketkeeper Matt Prior in the Ashes squad for the first Test after he sustained a torn left calf during England’s warm-up match against Australia A in Hobart.

“Jonny Bairstow will be fine batting at No 7 but I would worry immensely if he has to keep in a Test match,” Vaughan said. “I wouldn’t put him in the top five keepers in England.

“I questioned it as soon as the squad was selected. I just don’t think he’s done enough of it to withstand the pressure of an Ashes series keeping wicket.

“Bairstow is a package that could work in 20-over and 50-over cricket, but in five-day cricket, yes you need someone who can bat, but also to take those important catches. He hasn’t done enough for Yorkshire this summer because he has been playing for England.

“He may have to keep in the hottest of pressure zones, the Gabba, in front of 40,000 spectators. The selectors feel Bairstow is the next best, but I would question that.”

Vaughan added that Prior, who has played 57 consecutive Test matches since making his debut in 2007, will play a crucial role in helping England retain the Ashes for the fourth time in a row, a feat which they have not accomplished since the 1890s.

“The injury to Matthew Prior is a massive, massive concern,” Vaughan said. “He’s been brilliant for England for three or four years and is the engine of the team.

“Prior is a confidence player, he really likes to be in the middle, scoring runs. He could go into that first Test without any cricket.”

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