Andrew Gale is backing Jonny Bairstow to prove the England selectors wrong after he was left out of their Test squad for November’s series in New Zealand.
On Monday, Bairstow was omitted from a new look 15-man squad which includes only one Yorkshireman – captain Joe Root – for a two-Test series between November 20 and December 2.
Jos Buttler has been preferred as the first choice wicketkeeper, while Ollie Pope will provide back-up.
Bairstow scored 214 runs in five Ashes Tests this summer with one half-century and took 20 catches and two stumpings.
“I’m gutted for Jonny because I don’t think he’s done that much wrong,” said Yorkshire’s coach Gale. “Alright, he didn’t have the Ashes series he would have wanted, but it’s not been terrible for him.
“He’s had a hectic summer.
“He did really well at the IPL and bounced back really well in the World Cup with those hundreds (against India and New Zealand) when people were doubting him.
“You can name umpteen times in his career when people have written him off and he comes back and sets it alight again.
“Jonny Bairstow, who is hungry for runs with a point to prove and the bit between his teeth, is a dangerous prospect for the opposition.
“I’m sure Jonny will be hurting, but a bit of time away to refresh himself and recharge the batteries, something which he hasn’t had for a while, and he will come back stronger.”
On day one, Tom Loten scored 58 on debut batting at number three and Tom Kohler-Cadmore hit an unbeaten 165 opening the batting for only the third innings in his Championship career.
“We needed that day, although it’s a shame the rain has come,” said Gale. “We needed a bit of positivity back after the last two weeks (defeats against Somerset and Kent).
“We mixed the order around a bit, and the lads played really well.
“We spoke before the game about enjoying the week and getting back to basics.
“We also spoke last week about the lads not having the desire to bat time, but I think Tom (Loten) showed out there that he has it. It was very encouraging.
“He’s played well in the second team over a number of years, but we didn’t put him in last week because he’s probably not an opening batsman. He’s batted four and five in the seconds. But he’s got his opportunity and taken it.
“I’m sure he will use this confidence’s he got to work even harder this winter and push for a place next year.
“Opening the batting with Tom (Kohler-Cadmore) is something we’ve toyed with for a while. We looked at it early season, but Harry Brook put his hand up early season and wanted it.
“I’ve always felt his game’s better suited to the middle order, but I said to him on Sunday that I wanted him to open in this game because there was an opportunity to show what he could do.
“Also, because he probably hasn’t had the output of runs we would have liked from a senior capped player over the last couple of weeks.
“He had a point to prove, and that’s the sort of response you want. It’s opened another avenue for us next season.”
Bairstow, who turns 30 on Thursday, has been selected in the five-match NZ T20 series in early November.
But how does he fight his way back for the Christmas and New Year Test series in South Africa and then Sri Lanka in March/April?
“It’s difficult because there’s no cricket for him up until then,” said Gale.
“It probably doesn’t matter how well he does in the white ball stuff for England.
“All he can do is be as ready as possible to go.
“I’m sure he will reflect on his own game, look at areas technically where maybe it hasn’t gone so well for him and work harder to get back.
“When that opportunity arises, he’ll stick his chest out and make sure he doesn’t get dropped again.”
Gale was speaking during Yorkshire’s rain-affected Specsavers County Championship fixture against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, the last of the 2019 summer.
The White Rose dominated day one, reaching close on 261-2 from 64 overs, but there was no play on day two today, with the outfield under water.