Cricket Betting: Bairstow batting boost
...with the ability to score fast runs that Bairstow will bring behind Kevin Pietersen, and the form that Jimmy Anderson has been in, four days could be plenty.
It's a young Yorkshireman making his debut who Ralph Ellis is eager to watch when the first Test between the West Indies and England commences.
Jonny Bairstow has already given us glimpses of his potential for England in One Day Internationals, but now comes the big moment when he's been picked to appear at Lord's against the West Indies. The signs are it will be Boycott, close friend of his late father David, who will be asked to present his cap, just as he did at Cardiff last year for his ODI debut.
It's fitting because the 71-year-old has played a key role in Jonny's cricket upbringing - but by encouraging him to express his natural talent for striking the ball rather than letting himself get tied up in defensive knots. There's enough technique, of course. Anybody who has heard Boycott on Test Match Special will know how he's devoted to "proper batting". But there's also a magical freedom, with astonishingly powerful hitting, and when you put the three things together you have a recipe for big runs.
England have the wonderful situation of being able to blood the 22-year-old Yorkshireman, who has already scored two championship centuries this season, surrounded by an experienced team. It's a sharp contrast to the Windies, who have only three players in their squad who have passed the age of 30.
Captain Darren Sammy has done a good job trying to halt the decline of West Indies cricket, but with too many players putting IPL riches ahead of playing in Tests, it is still a woefully weak team that will arrive at Lord's. England are 1.55 in Betfair match odds to open the series with a win and the only thing to make you cautious about taking that bet is the threat that the fifth day could be washed out by rain. But with the ability to score fast runs that Bairstow will bring behind Kevin Pietersen, and the form that Jimmy Anderson has been in, four days could be plenty.
Five things you might not know about Darren Sammy
1. His mum was aged just 15 - and his dad 19 - when he was born in the village of Micoud on St Lucia. Dad lost his job in agriculture when the banana farming industry collapsed. He took a job as a mini bus driver to support the family - and with his first decent pay check Darren bought him his own bus.
2. The family were Seventh Day Adventists - meaning that when the young Darren's talent was spotted at school he wasn't allowed to play cricket at weekends. His coach Brian Calixte persuaded his dad to make an exception because his boy was sure to be selected for St Lucia.
3. He was sponsored by the St Lucia Tourist board to spend three years at the MCC school at Lord's.
4. He got his first West Indies cap in a one day international in England without a ball being bowled. The match - in 2004 - was washed out by rain but because the toss had taken place caps were still awarded.
5. It rained again when he got married in Antigua to Cathy - their plans for an outside ceremony ended with the couple and their 50 guests squeezed into a tiny room.