Bairstow upbeat on Prior's return

November 15, 2013
Cricket - International Cricket - Bet Now at Bet365

Jonny Bairstow hopes Matt Prior is fit enough to take part in the first Ashes Test even though the Yorkshireman impressed on the third day of England's warm-up match against an Australia Invitational XI.

Bairstow (48) and Root (75) added 106 runs for the sixth wicket as England were dismissed for 418 in reply to their hosts' first-innings total of 304.

Root injured his little finger when he was struck on the glove by Josh Lalor but was given the all-clear after being sent to hospital for scans.

Bairstow then produced a steady display behind the stumps as the Australia Invitational XI moved on to 153-4 in their second innings, with Aaron Finch lashing a quick-fire 59 off 60 balls.

Steven Finn took 1-53 from 11.3 overs, while Boyd Rankin, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann also took a wicket apiece.

Bairstow said after the close of play: "Everyone's hoping Matt's fit for English cricket - who wouldn't want him to be fit and taking the stage for the Gabba in that first Test?

"But if that isn't the case it's an opportunity to go out there and play for your country. Over the last couple of days I've been happy with the performance I've put in behind the stumps with the gloves and if that is the case then so be it.

"It's obviously important after you make starts and go on and get that big one. That is something I didn't necessarily do in the summer and if I do get the opportunity to play that will be something I will be looking to do in this series.

"But it was good, tough cricket playing in the summer against Australia, the first time I'd played against them. It was a very enjoyable experience and something I'll look back on very fondly."

England can now be backed at 2/1 to win the game, with the draw 4/11, while the Invitational XI are 66/1 to secure a victory.

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