Former England wicket-keeper David Bairstow would have been a proud father when his son, Jonathan, fondly known as 'Jonny', earned his first call-up to the national team in 2011, just two years after his entry in First-Class cricket. The wicketkeeper-batsman started young, playing for Yorkshire Under-15s and later representing England Under-17s. He went on to have a prolific season with Yorkshire's second eleven, before eventually making his First-Class debut against Somerset in 2009. Impressive performances saw him being picked in the Lions squad for their tour to the West Indies in early 2011. Later that year, he was included in England's ODI squad for their series against Ireland, with the selectors clearly grooming a specialist batsman for the future. But he did not play there and made his ODI debut directly in the home series against India in 2011. His scintillating knock of 41 off 21 balls in the fifth ODI helped England complete a 3-0 series win over India.
Bairstow then travelled with the squad to India in the same year, hoping that he would be given another chance to play. It happened, thanks to a hundred that he scored in their warm-up game against Hyderabad, which ultimately saw him replacing the experienced Ian Bell in the ODI side. The following year, he was given his Test cap in the home series against West Indies. He showed signs of early maturity when he came out against a lethal South African pace attack in the Lord's Test and scored a gutsy 95, replacing Kevin Pietersen at the No.4 position. A fifty in the second innings stamped his authority in the middle order. Later in 2012, he was included in Yorkshire's T20 squad ahead of the Champions League T20 in South Africa but couldn't play due to an injury. Bairstow had his chances during England's 3-0 drubbing of Australia in the 2013 Ashes at home but failed to make any impact and struggled to find a regular Test spot.
A return to the county and a change in technique - holding the bat way up alongside him - saw him sore back amongst runs. He had a dream 2015 with Yorkshire, scoring as many as 1108 First-Class runs at 92.33. Bairstow faced stiff competition from Jos Buttler but the latter's slump in form saw him return to the Test team in 2016. Jonny didn't let the selectors down as he racked up most runs in a calendar year for a keeper and finished in the top two overall. Along with it, he also affected the highest number of dismissals in a calendar year for a keeper. In him, England found a stable middle-order batsman who showed tremendous application irrespective of conditions and became one of the mainstays for them.
In recent times, however, he has shifted to become an opening batsman for the England team as they are stockpiled in the middle order by batsmen like Root, Morgan, Stokes, etc. Along with that his understanding with his fellow opener, Jason Roy means that England has found the perfect opening pair for their World Cup campaign. Bairstow had a fantastic 2019 World Cup as he racked up 532 runs across 11 innings with two tons in must-win matches for England. He was one of the pillars of the team that helped England lift their maiden World Cup on home soil and thus ending the drought.
Though Bairstow's exploits and form in white-ball cricket has been good, he has struggled recently in the longest format. He was part of the 2019 Ashes side and with his form in red-ball cricket being under scrutiny, he failed to deliver thus forcing the selectors to drop him from the Test side against New Zealand. He was back for the Test series against South Africa as Ollie Pope was ill but Bairstow failed to make a mark in the Test he played. He was dropped from the Test squad to tour Sri Lanka which was eventually postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He is named in the 30-man side for the series against West Indies but failed to find his place in the main squad.