England recalls Bairstow as injury cover for Tests

Wellington: England have recalled Jonny Bairstow for their two Tests against New Zealand later this month as cover for the injured Joe Denly, a team official said Friday.

Bairstow, a 69-Test wicketkeeper-batsman who was initially omitted from the squad, is already in New Zealand with the England squad playing in the five-match Twenty20 series ahead of the Tests. An England spokesman said the 30-year-old will now stay on in New Zealand after the final Twenty20 in Auckland on Sunday.

Denly has not played since he damaged his right ankle ligaments in training two weeks ago, although he did practise in the nets on Thursday and the spokesman said they were hoping that he will be fit to play in the pre-Test warm-up match against a New Zealand XI at the end of next week. England’s red-ball specialists arrived in Auckland this week and will join the rest of the squad on Monday. The first Test starts in Tauranga on 21 November.