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December 28, 2012
Bairstow was in England's Test and T20 squads before Christmas but flew home before the second T20 on compassionate leave.
He will now remain at home with his family but is expected to join the England one-day squad for the T20 and ODI series against New Zealand in February.
Bairstow played the latest of his five Tests in Mumbai but was replaced by Ian Bell who returned from paternity leave to play the third Test. He didn't play again on the tour having been left out of the opening T20 after which he returned home.
Bairstow made an immediate impression on international cricket with a matchwinning 41 not out on debut against India in Cardiff in September 2011. But he has only scored another 78 runs in six matches since - five of them against India in October 2011.
His replacement Root is another talented young Yorkshireman. He was a surprise pick to make his Test debut in the fourth Test in Nagpur but played with confidence for 73 in the first-innings and closed out the draw with a brief unbeaten knock in the second innings. He then made his T20 debut in Mumbai. Root is yet to play an ODI but has scored 748 List A runs at 34.00.
Root joins a squad that includes Kevin Pietersen for the first time since England swept Pakistan 4-0 in the UAE in February. England will have to decide on a return to the opening partnership of Pietersen and captain Alastair Cook that averaged 84.50 against Pakistan with two centuries each or remain with Bell who was given a second life in the ODI side when he replaced Pietersen against West Indies and averaged 54.90 throughout the summer.
With no Jonathan Trott in the squad, either Pietersen or Bell will bat at No. 3 with Eoin Morgan at No. 4. Root could be picked to make his debut at No. 5 if England decide against playing both Craig Kieswetter and Jos Buttler - both played the fourth ODI against Pakistan in Dubai, Buttler's only ODI appearance, but with his good showing in recent T20s and Kieswetter's failure to make a half-century in 2012, Buttler could be asked to keep wicket, paving the way for Root to be selected.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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