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Bairstow’s Test career over as he’s left out of squad v…

Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes launch build-up to 2025-26 Ashes with Jonny Bairstow’s Test career over as he’s left out of squad to face West Indies.

Jonny Bairstow’s Test career is over after he was left out of the squad

Decision to give the gloves to Jamie Smith is bad news for Ben Foakes

England will begin their long build-up to the 2025-26 Ashes this month with a new-look Test team that marks a clear break from the first phase of Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes’s Bazball project.

The announcement of a 14-man squad for the first two Tests against West Indies, starting at Lord’s on July 10, confirmed what had long been obvious: Jonny Bairstow’s 100-Test career is over, and possibly his entire England career too.

The decision to hand the gloves to debutant Jamie Smith, meanwhile, is bad news for his Surrey team-mate Ben Foakes, who at the age of 31 may struggle to add to his 25 caps, despite his ability behind the stumps. The long-running Bairstow v Foakes debate is over.

Other members of the squad that lost 4-1 in India to have been left out are spinners Jack Leach, Tom Hartley and Rehan Ahmed, and seamers Mark Wood and Ollie Robinson. Of those, only Wood can be confident of featuring in the future, with the three-year central contract he signed last year designed to protect him all the way to Australia.

When James Anderson retires from Test cricket after the Lord’s Test, the break with the past will be even cleaner.

 

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