England's Bairstow keen to retain wicketkeeper role for fourth Test
Jonny Bairstow is hopeful the fractured finger he suffered in England's third Test with India will not prevent him from keeping wicket at the Rose Bowl.
Bairstow suffered the injury during India's second innings at Trent Bridge and though he was later able to bat, Jos Buttler had to fill in behind the stumps.
England included Bairstow in their 14-man squad for the fourth Test, which begins this week, and there is a possibility he could still feature as a specialist batsman.
However, the 28-year-old is eager to resume his role as England’s wicketkeeper.
"The finger feels good, the swelling has gone down and it is a lot better than I thought it was going to be," Bairstow said at a news conference.
"I am going to try and keep wicket in training.
"You obviously want to play so, if I am not able to keep wicket, then I'd like to think I would play as a specialist batsman. But at the same time, I am desperate to try and keep my place as the keeper.
"If you look at the stats, the stats suggest my [batting] stats would be better if I'm keeping wicket as well.
"I'm very, very keen to keep my spot as the keeper because I'd like to think it's gone pretty well over the last 38, 39 Test matches keeping for England."
England could have wrapped up the five-match series with a victory at Trent Bridge, but a 203-run loss has kept India's hopes alive heading into the penultimate Test.
The Rose Bowl has only staged two prior Test matches but the most recent, in 2014, saw England beat India by 266 runs.
"It's going to be a great contest, we're 2-1 up in the series, [but] India played well in that last game," Bairstow added.
"But, coming here, in the last Test match that was played here, it was a comprehensive win. We'll turn up fully confident, excited after a good few days off and raring to go."