ENG v IND

India to target Bairstow’s broken finger in fourth Test

India s pace attack will target Jonny Bairstow should he defy a broken finger to bat in the fourth Test, according to seamer Mohammed Shami.

Wicket-keeper Bairstow injured the middle finger on his left hand fielding a James Anderson delivery during England s Third Test defeat at Trent Bridge last week as India reduced the home side s lead in the series to 2-1.

“When you see that a batsman has a weakness and he feels uncomfortable in some way, you d prefer to work on that aspect,” said Shami.

“It s not just me – any fast bowler will want to target his weak zone – so we will definitely look at that.”

However, Bairstow remains keen not only to potentially play as a specialist batsman, but also keep hold of the gloves instead of handing over responsibility behind the stumps to Jos Buttler.

“The swelling has gone down,” he said on Tuesday. “I m going to try and keep wicket in training this afternoon as well.”

England have a ready-made replacement in Buttler, who took over from Bairstow after the Yorkshireman was injured in the 203-run defeat in Nottingham.

“You obviously want to play, so If I m not able to keep wicket then I would like to think I ll be a specialist batsman,” added Bairstow.

“But at the same time I m desperate to try and keep my place as the wicket-keeper.

“I m very, very keen to keep my spot as the wicket-keeper — because I would like to think it s gone pretty well over the last 38/39 Test matches that I ve been keeping for England.”

The fourth Test of the five-match series begins on Thursday.

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