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Fresh blood will help England raise game for Ashes: Bairstow

Fresh blood will help England raise game for Ashes: Bairstow
October 6, 2017

LONDON (Reuters) - England’s decision to bring fresh faces into their Ashes squad will push the team’s more experienced players to raise their games, wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow has said.

The 16-man squad includes batsmen Mark Stoneman and Dawid Malan and fast bowler Jake Ball, who have 11 test caps between them, as well as three uncapped players in paceman Craig Overton, spinner Mason Crane and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.

“We want people to be coming in and pushing for places in the side for that first test and if they do that then that will bring out the best in the rest of squad,” Bairstow told Sky Sports.

“We’ve seen what people pushing for starting places has done to the one-day side and the skill levels have gone in a positive direction because of that.”

The 28-year-old said the team would be a little nervous but in good spirits when they touched down in Australia for the five-match series, which starts in Brisbane on Nov. 23.

”The Ashes is talked about wherever cricket is played, not just in England and Australia but all around the world,“ he added. ”The eyes of the world will be on you and it’s a big series, no question.

“So the guys will come in, yes, with a bit of excitement and a touch of nerves, but also full of enthusiasm and that is going to be what we need.”