Jonny Bairstow has admitted that he has mixed emotions on England's decision to rest him for the Test matches against India.
The wicket-keeper batsman has loved being a part of his country's Test set-up again, but knows that he will not get another chance to take a small break this year.
"I’ve absolutely loved being back. I was a bit emotional yesterday being being back in the dressing room when you’ve won a series reaffirms why you keep doing it and never give up. It’s special," Bairstow said.
"If they they hadn’t given me the break now, then when? It’s tricky. It’s a huge summer and winter and sadly you can’t do everything. You do need to get out of the bubble and see your loved ones," he added.
England face a gruelling schedule in 2021. They are set to play 15 more Tests, including two series against India and one away to Australia.
With the IPL, the Hundred and the ICC World T20I also coming up this year, the England selectors have decided to hand Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran and Mark Wood some much needed rest.
The trio will now return home as the rest of the squad leaves Sri Lanka for Chennai on Wednesday to prepare for the India series.
Jonny Bairstow determined to have long Test career
Before returning to the England squad for the recently-concluded series against Sri Lanka, Jonny Bairstow hadn't played Test cricket for the past year.
Now that he has made it back into the side, Bairstow is determined to play in the longest format of the game for as long as possible.
"It was frustrating because I wanted to prove that I could play red-ball cricket, which I hold so dearly. My aspirations are to play Test cricket for as long as possible.
"I’d have liked to get a big score but I’m really happy with how I’ve played having not played a huge amount of red ball cricket for a little while, to come back in and spend the amount of time at the crease and contribute the way I have is really pleasing. After a rest, I’ll be raring to go in India," the 31-year-old said.
Jonny Bairstow has been rested for the first two Tests against India. However, it is very likely that he could be recalled for the final two Tests and the limited-overs series that will follow.