Both are included in a 14-man squad announced on Thursday lunchtime, as England opt for just one change – Vince replacing uncapped seamer Jamie Porter.
Bairstow’s broken left middle finger makes him a doubt for the fourth Test, as England seek to bounce back from this week’s Trent Bridge trouncing against India in a Specsavers series they still lead 2-1 with two to play.
It is understood that, even if Bairstow is passed fit, on latest medical advice he will play as a specialist batsman only – with Jos Buttler continuing behind the stumps, having taken over in Nottingham after the Yorkshireman suffered his injury mid-match.
National selector Ed Smith said: “The selection panel felt this was the right time to reintroduce James Vince to the Test squad.
“James will provide cover in case Jonny Bairstow’s fractured finger prevents him playing in the fourth Test match.”
Hampshire captain Vince, who won the last of his 13 Test caps to date in Christchurch five months ago, was dropped after a run of unconvincing form when new incumbent Smith announced his first squad against Pakistan at the start of this summer.
The 27-year-old, who has a Test average just under 25, has had a successful county championship season – and while England were struggling against India at Trent Bridge, he hit scores of 147 and 74 in Hampshire’s win over Nottinghamshire at the Ageas Bowl.
Smith added: “James returns to the England set-up in confident form and scoring runs.
“He has been in excellent form for Hampshire in the Specsavers County Championship, with 847 runs at 56.46, including runs that shaped Hampshire’s win against Nottinghamshire.
“James’ match-winning runs also helped Hampshire to win the Royal London Cup earlier this summer.”
🚨 BREAKING NEWS 🚨
We have named a 14-man squad for the fourth Specsavers Test match against India.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 23, 2018
Porter steps aside but remains on standby in case pace-bowling cover is required for a match which starts on August 30.
“Jamie Porter has been part of the last three Test squads,” said Smith.
“But the selection panel did not want him to miss the opportunity of playing for Essex in the next round of championship matches.
“He will return to the squad in the event of an injury to a seam bowler.”
England squad (v India at the Ageas Bowl): JE Root (Captain), MM Ali, JM Anderson, JM Bairstow, SCJ Broad, JC Buttler (wkt), AN Cook, SM Curran, KK Jennings, OJD Pope, AU Rashid, BA Stokes, JM Vince, CR Woakes
England are hoping Jonny Bairstow recovers from his broken finger to play the fourth Test at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
Captain Joe Root said there is enough time to assess Bairstow’s fitness. Root added that Bairstow is more than qualified to play purely as a specialist batsman as the team has a ready replacement wicketkeeper in Jos Buttler.
Bairstow fractured his finger finger while keeping in India‘s second innings in Trent Bridge and Buttler wore the gloves thereafter. England slumped to a 203-run defeat in the third Test.
“We will have to see how that (fracture) settles down over time. We have got a bit of time until the next game,” Root said.
Watch the full video below.
Joe Root has warned England they must learn quickly from their Trent Bridge trouncing if they are to stay in the “driving seat” against India this summer.
England’s captain agreed that the hosts effectively lost the third Test, ultimately by 203 runs, in one session on day two when their “very poor” first-innings batting saw all 10 wickets fall between lunch and tea.
But he believes the way to turn the 2-1 lead they still have into series victory in Southampton next week lies not just in reflection on where it all went wrong but also Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes’ exemplary batting in second-innings adversity.
Only one team in Test history, Don Bradman’s 1936/37 Ashes winners, have recovered from 2-0 down to prevail in any five-match series – but Virat Kohli‘s India have given themselves a chance of becoming the second.
Root, understandably, would prefer not to contemplate that eventuality just yet.
That does not mean he is shying away from reality, however – and after England were bowled out for 317 with only 17 deliveries needed for India to take one remaining wicket on the final morning, he acknowledged all the damage was done two days earlier.
“You can nit-pick around other areas within the game, but ultimately that first innings for us was very poor,” he said, before turning to the flip side of Buttler and Stokes’ defiant stand of 169.
“One thing that’s come from this game is that partnership between Jos and Ben, and it’s a great example and lesson of how to go about things in Test cricket.
“It’s still a great ‘learner’ for us, to see two guys who are generally very attack-minded adapt to a situation – still probably in bowler-friendly conditions – and find a way to build a very strong partnership and put India’s bowlers under pressure.”
Further consolation for England lies, of course, in the series score after their wins at Edgbaston and Lord’s.
“We’re definitely in the driving seat, we have to keep remembering that,” added Root.
Jos Buttler has emphatically proved the doubters wrong, by showcasing a level of patience unseen in an England shirt for over three years. His century at Trent Bridge saw him leave ball 24% of the time; none of England's last 30 centuries have seen more leaves. #ENGvIND— The Cricket Prof. (@CricProf) August 21, 2018
“We have got a little bit of time now to go away and reflect on what has been a difficult week.
“But in England we are a very good side at bouncing back from a tough couple of days. I’m fully expecting the guys to come back to Southampton refreshed, ready to go and – we hope – take an opportunity to wrap the series up.”
Root wasted no time confirming his displeasure to his team-mates after their first-innings collapse to 161 all out.
“We sat down and spoke quite honestly about how we’re going to get this right,” he said. “It’s obviously not good enough.
“In this format, and for the group of players we’ve got, it’s well below par. It’s always at the forefront of our minds, making big first-innings scores – in Test match cricket, that’s crucial. We have to get that right very quickly.”
SUPPORT FOR COOK
Root, meanwhile, gave his full backing to out-of-form national record runscorer Alastair Cook. Asked if he wants Cook in his team for the rest of the series, he said: “Yes, 100 per cent.
“He’s a world-class performer – he’s proven that time and time again. Actually, I’d like you to write him off – because every time he’s written off, he comes back and scores a double-hundred.”