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England batsman Jonny Bairstow’s modest contribution in the Tests against West Indies could raise doubts over his selection for the home series against South Africa in July. Rob Smyth, writing in the Guardian, says a poor series against South Africa would do Bairstow more harm than getting dropped from the ODI squad against West Indies.
There is a legitimate perception that it might damage Bairstow's long-term development to drop him now, yet a traumatic series against South Africa would do even more harm. England may have to be cruel to be kind. There seems little doubt that Bairstow's time will come eventually. Two outrageous innings – 41 not out off 21 balls against India on his England debut, and 60 not out from 46 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi – attest to a rare talent.