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Matt Prior reveals how England should solve Ben Foakes-Jonny Bairstow dilemma in Sri Lanka

England stars Ben Foakes and Jonny Bairstow (Picture: Getty)
Matt Prior says it will be a nightmare ..

By admin , in Sprots , at November 7, 2018

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England stars Ben Foakes and Jonny Bairstow (Picture: Getty)

Matt Prior says it will be a nightmare for the England selectors to choose the team for the second Sri Lanka Test.

Having replaced Jonny Bairstow as Englands wicket-keeper in the opening match in Galle, Ben Foakes scored a fantastic century to rescue the tourists.

The Surrey man came to the crease with his side struggling on 103-5 but his hundred helped England to recover to 342 all out.

Foakes became only the second England wicketkeeper to score a ton on Test debut, after Prior achieved the feat in 2007, and now looks set to retain his place for the remainder of the series.

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But Foakes presence in the side provides the selectors with an issue as Bairstow, the teams wicketkeeper-batsman for the past two years, is expected to be fit to return in the second match.

Prior told talkSPORT2: England have now got themselves a bit of a conundrum. Its going to be a nightmare… a real challenge.

I believe youve got to pick the team thats going to win you a Test match on any given day. Thats how you have to go about your selection, otherwise you can get too emotional about it.

If its deemed that actually Ben Foakes isnt in the XI thats going to win a Test match in Kandy then you have to make that tough call.

Surreys Foakes scored a century on his international debut (Picture: Getty)

Prior believes Bairstow deserves to return to the side as soon as he regains his fitness but says he may be forced to play as a specialist batsman.

Jonny, fully fit, would have played this Test match, probably would have performed well, done well with the gloves and scored runs and we wouldnt be having this conversation, he added.

We dont want to look a gift horse in the mouth. If he is fully fit, then he should come back in to the team, for me. Whether he keeps wicket, thats a whole other conversation.

Whether you play Bairstow, Jos Buttler or Foakes as wicketkeeper, they are all good enough. Theyre all international standard wicketkeepers.

Yorkshires Bairstow will hope to return in the second Test (Picture: Getty)

Foakes resumed on 87 not out on the morning of day two and lost partner Jack Leach when he was still five runs short of a century.

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But James Anderson survived long enough to allow the Surrey star to complete a maiden Test ton.

I was pretty calm this morning and I got a bit nervous when Jimmy Anderson came out with five to go, Foakes said. It was meant to be my day!

It was amazing to get a hundred. Such a relief and a great feeling. My brother got here last night, thats amazing and my mum is getting here in about an hour.

Getting a few runs settled me down and with Jimmy bowling you know youre in the game so to get a catch early was great. As the wicket dried out it is spinning more and staying low.

The pitch depends on what is overhead, if the sun bakes it it will turn more and more and be difficult to bat on it.

England resume on day three on 38-0, already boasting a lead of 177, with openers Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings at the crease.

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