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England have the right balance for Ashes - Bairstow

19 October 2017 09:00

Jonny Bairstow believes England have struck the right balance heading into the forthcoming Ashes series and does not expect a repeat of the whitewash of 2013-14.

Bairstow was part of the squad as England were beaten 5-0 on their last tour Down Under four years ago, playing the last two Tests with the team's fate already sealed.

The Yorkshire wicketkeeper was also a member of the side that won on home soil in 2015 and believes that, while memories of their Aussie nightmare linger, the experience gained makes England better prepared for what lies ahead this time around.

"It's a completely different group of players," Bairstow told Omnisport at an event to promote his book A Clear Blue Sky. 

"You've got a lot of experience now. You had guys who were playing their first, second, third Test matches, to guys now that have got 30 Tests underneath their belt, alongside people who've got 100 plus Test matches, and also guys who are yet to make their debut.

"So the balance we've got between experience, youth and enthusiasm is a good one moving forward.

"You've got guys that won it who are still in the squad and still in the team. That can only be a positive thing.

"The experience that they can call upon, both good and bad, and the knowledge that they can pass on to the players... it's exciting!"

Bairstow's Yorkshire team-mate Joe Root - one of the men to have featured in each of the last three Ashes series - is preparing for his first as captain, having stepped into the role following the resignation of Alastair Cook in February.

And Bairstow praised the 26-year-old's attitude to his new-found responsibilities, insisting Root remains your average Joe.

"[He's adapted] fantastically well," added Bairstow. "He's taken everything in his stride and scored many many runs like he'll carry on doing.

"Nothing has changed about him. He's really excited about this challenge ahead over in Australia.

"He's not changed at all as a person, so that's a massive credit to him for not changing the way he is and I don't think that will ever change.

"But it's also performances that you gain respect for as well."

Bairstow's new book explores the impact of the death of his father David - also an England wicketkeeper - who took his own life when Jonny was just eight.

Reflecting on the experience of writing the book, Bairstow commented: "It definitely gives you an understanding, perspective and it enables you to think about different aspects of it and put things into perspective at what you could say is the mid-point of my career. I learned plenty about myself.

"I think it's important to be able to talk about things like that because there's a lot of people that will find it difficult to speak about those types of things.

"But if it can help people speak about it, help bring things to the surface for other people, then that can only be a good thing."

The first Ashes Test begins in Brisbane on November 23.

***A Clear Blue Sky by Jonny Bairstow and Duncan Hamilton goes on sale on October 19***

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