After suffering severe injuries while playing golf in August last year, England wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow wondered if he would ever be able to walk again, let alone return to the game. After being sidelined for eight months due to the injury, Bairstow was named in England squad on Wednesday for the upcoming one-off Test against Ireland, which will serve as a prelude to the eagerly anticipated Ashes.
Before getting hurt, Bairstow was in the best shape of his life, scoring 681 runs in Test matches at an average of 75.66, including four centuries. He was also the face of the famous 'Bazball' mindset in the English Test side. The 33-year-old English cricketer scored twin centuries in the one-off, fifth Test match against India in Edgbaston and snatched the game away from India.
"You wonder whether or not you'll be able to walk again, jog again, run again, play cricket again. Absolutely, those things do go through your mind. It depends how long you think about them. There are many different things, until you get back to playing, well… you wonder, is it going to feel the same?" Bairstow said in an interaction with EspnCricinfo.
Ben Foakes received bad news upon Bairstow's return and was later dropped from the England team. Since the beginning of the summer, Foakes kept a wicket in nine out of the 12 games, earning praise from both, captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum. Foakes had to make way, nevertheless, as a result of the winter's rise of Harry Brook and the team's continued use of Zak Crawley as the opener. Bairstow understood the plight of the Surrey keeper-batter and showed his sympathy towards Foakes.