If the ignominy of the current state and impending defeat at Nottingham wasn’t enough, England suffered a body blow on the third morning of the Trent Bridge when wicket-keeper batsmen Jonny Bairstow was hit on the middle finger of his left hand in the 44th over of India’s 2nd innings in what appeared to be a regulation take off the bowling of Jamie Anderson.
Bairstow had to shed his gloves immediately and was taken off the field to undergo an X-ray what was later described by the team management as a ‘small fracture’ on the middle finger. While England publicly announced that the wicket-keeper would be available to bat in the second innings, internal team sources have indicated that it appears highly unlikely that the Yorkshireman will be fit for the fourth and the fifth Test at Southampton and the Oval respectively.
“It [the ball] wobbled and I just copped it on the end. It is part and parcel of this job. We are going to see how it is in the morning. It is a fracture but it’s not displaced and that is a big thing. We are hopeful a bit more ice overnight and some protection will help.” Jonny Bairstow on his injury.
However, he might still come out to the bat in England’s bid to chase down 521 in the fourth innings as indicated by assistant coach Paul Farbace.
“There is a fracture in the tip of his finger, and the doc’s been working on him this evening to relieve a bit of pressure in the nail, so hopefully when needed he’ll be OK,” indicated Farbrace.
“I’m no expert on broken fingers but because it’s not a displaced break, then he should be OK, and it’s just a case of managing the pain level as opposed to doing any further damage. There will be a big bit of plastic stuck over his glove. Let’s see how he goes over the next couple of days. If there was a risk of making it worse, he wouldn’t bat.”
Jos Buttler, who was recalled into England’s side earlier this summer after he’d lost his place as a wicket-keeper to Bairstow back in 2015, filled in behind the stumps for the remainder of India’s second innings that lasted for 110 overs.
England will resume the fourth day at 0-23 and face an improbable task of batting out six sessions in a bid to save the Test match and maintain their 2-0 lead in the series.