Jonny Bairstow is focused on maintaining his calm when he makes his England Test debut on Thursday, despite the emotions that are bound to come over the 22-year-old at Lord’s
Should Bairstow be selected for the first Test against the West Indies, which is widely expected, then he will become the 13th son in the history of English cricket to follow in his father’s footsteps and play Test cricket.
Bairstow’s late father David played four Tests between 1979 and 1981, and his mother and sister will be present at Lord’s to watch him this week.
“Playing for England is a massive ambition, and something I grew up as a boy dreaming of doing,” Bairstow said.
“Obviously doing it here at Lord’s, the home of cricket, is something that is special - to say the least.”
Nevertheless the Yorkshireman insists that he must put his emotions aside and treat it like another day on the cricket field.
“(It will be) the same as every other day - there is a guy at the other end with a ball in his hand, and you’ve got to face it,” he said.
“It will be a proud moment if selected, and my family will be very proud.
“But at end of day it is another game of cricket ... you can’t do anything but face the ball the other guy is going to bowl at you.
“If the ball is there to be hit then it has to be hit, or defend and leave it.”
Bairstow announced his arrival on the international scene last year when he produced a man-of-the-match knock to claim victory from the jaws of defeat in an ODI against India at Cardiff.
This year he has produced two centuries for Yorkshire and a 50 for the England Lions against the West Indies, giving him a reputation for scoring runs when they matter the most.
“It is a good attribute to have,” he admitted.
“You don’t want someone that cries off when the chips are down.
“It is good to have the willpower and want to dig a team out of a situation. It is something that comes naturally to me.”
Bairstow is also a solid wicketkeeper, but knows he can expect to put those duties to one side so long as Matt Prior is fit to play Test cricket.
“I am enjoying my keeping, but at the moment the world’s number one keeper is keeping in the Test side,” Bairstow said.
“He is doing fantastically well, so I am pleased to get call as a batsman.”