Gillespie impressed with Bairstow's improvement

10 April 2012 10:21:30 EST

Retired Australian cricketer Jason Gillespie, who now coaches English county side Yorkshire, has lauded English cricketer Jonny Bairstow, who starred in Yorkshire's opening County Championship clash with Kent.

Gillespie, who was a World class fast bowler for Australia during his playing days, was highly impressed by Bairstow's performance, as he not only scored his third first-class hundred but also kept wickets for the side with the minimal of fuss.

Jonny's wicketkeeping is very under-rated. He's very strong, and the lift he gives the team is excellent.

Jason Gillespie

The 22-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman toured with England during their winter cricketing season and is now back to serve his county club.

The 2012 English T20 tournament is scheduled to begin from June 12. Yorkshire are 20/1 to win the competition, while Somerset are priced at 6/1.

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In addition to touring cricket-crazy Asian countries like India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka for Test cricket, Bairstow also appeared in ODIs and Twenty20 internationals for England.

He was played as a specialist batsman at international level by the English team, which allowed Craig Kieswetter to perform the ball collecting behind the stumps.

But Gillespie believes that the time Bairstow spent with England's wicketkeeping specialist coach Bruce French, has improved his skills with the gloves a great deal.

"Jonny's wicketkeeping is very under-rated. He's very strong, and the lift he gives the team is excellent. His keeping is quite sound, and he's definitely improved," Gillespie said.

He played a class innings of 107 from just 147 deliveries and struck 13 fours and two big ones during his stay at the crease.

"That was a phenomenal innings against some pretty good bowling. But Jonny's a wonderful player, plain and simple," Gillespie added.

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