“It seems worth adding that England should never have the same wicketkeeper for all three formats,” says Tim Sanders. “This hasn’t been a problem so far because everyone got a rest in the spring, and then we had separate Test and ODI ‘bubbles’. But if the intention is to go back to how it was from 2014-2015, when Buttler kept wicket in Tests, ODIs and T20s, that would seem a mistake given the usual scheduling. I remember Buttler had to miss a few games with fatigue during that time. As a long-term admirer of Jonny, I feel a little sad to lean the opposite way to Vic Marks; and I am trying to be less curmudgeonly when Jos does well.”
I think this extended break is a good thing for Bairstow, who for his last 18 months in the Test match was repeatedly running head-first into a brick wall and telling everyone he was fine, he didn’t feel a thing. I wish he would help himself, though – his latest plan to bat No3 and keep wicket for Yorkshire is entirely ludicrous. For such a no-nonsense cricketer, he doesn’t half make some senseless decisions. But when he does get back in the Test team, as I suspect he will at some stage before the Ashes, I’d expect his batting form to be a lot closer to his 2016-17 best.