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Bairstow: England must focus on West Indies before turning attention to Ashes

185   //    16 Aug 2017, 11:58 IST
England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow

Jonny Bairstow believes England cannot afford to look past their series with West Indies, despite the Ashes being just months away.

England start the two-Test series with the Windies on Thursday at Edgbaston in what will be the first day-night Test to be held in the country.

The hosts are coming off a 3-1 win over South Africa and will be heavy favourites to triumph against a Windies side that has not won a Test series since 2014.

With the Ashes beginning in November, England could be forgiven for looking ahead to a series that appeared in some doubt until the Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association finally reached agreement on a pay dispute.

But wicketkeeper Bairstow told Omnisport, speaking on behalf of Investec: "They've [West Indies] got a group of young players who've got a lot of talent, desire and determination to play a brand of cricket that is potentially very threatening.

"At no point is it feasible for us to take our eyes off this Test series because if we do we can see how quickly the game can change.

"Anything can be a leveller, no matter what it is, the toss can be, there's so many varying factors. You don't know what the conditions are going to be.

"The pink ball could be a factor but whoever bowls the best, bats the best and catches the best will come out on top over five days."

On the Ashes, he added: "It's the Ashes series, there was always going to be some sort of agreement [over the pay dispute], if it hadn't gone ahead you're talking losing millions and millions of pounds.

"It's fantastic to see they've come to an agreement, it's an exciting period if you're looking ahead in two months time. To look forward to an Ashes series Down Under is a worldwide thing that the people get captivated by."

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