Bairstow suffers 'small fracture' to finger

Jonny Bairstow gave England an unwelcome injury scare, sustaining a fractured finger before lunch on the third day at Trent Bridge, raising the prospect of a keeping and batting reshuffle being needed for the fourth Test, but he is expected to be able to bat as England try to survive two days or score 521 for victory.

Bairstow was struck on the left hand in the 44th over after Cheteshwar Pujara left a James Anderson ball that swerved significantly. The blow clearly left the wicketkeeper in intense pain as he rolled on the ground, clutching his injured hand.

Jos Buttler took the gloves for Englnad as Bairstow was taken to hospital for scans, which revealed a "small fracture" to the tip of the middle finger of his left hand but it was not displaced which improves Bairstow's chances of a swifter recovery.

"We will see how it is in the morning, it is fracture but it's not displaced which is the good thing," Bairstow told Channel 5. "We are hopeful with more icing overnight and a bit of protection. It's the middle finger and it's my top hand, so I tend not to use it much

"It's part and parcel of keeping wicket, you will cop a few on your fingers. It wobbled and did what it typically does in England sometimes does, so unfortunately copped it on the end."

The impact on Bairstow beyond the conclusion of this Test will be assessed in the coming days, but while the gloves can pass to Buttler in a reasonably seamless shift - a move championed by some, including ESPNcricinfo analyst Mark Butcher, as the way England should balance their Test side - if he was ruled out it would leave England needing to bring someone into the middle order for the Ageas Bowl Test which starts on August 30.

"The doc's been working on him this evening to relieve a bit of pressure in the nail, so hopefully when needed he'll be okay," Paul Farbrace, England's assistance coach, said. "A lot will depend on how the next few days go, and the soreness in terms of catching balls on a consistent basis. We'll have to see how he goes.

"I'm no expert on broken fingers, but because it's not a displaced break, then he should be okay, and it's just a case of managing the pain level as opposed to doing any further damage. There'll be a big bit of plastic stuck over his glove. Let's see how he goes over the next couple of days. If there was a risk of making it worse, he wouldn't bat."

Upon his return to the ground, Bairstow sat on the balcony of the home dressing room with his left hand plunged into a pint glass filled with ice. As Bairstow's injury was external, as per the rules he would be able to bat whenever required even though he didn't return to the field. Bairstow is currently England's leading run-scorer in this series with 206 runs, including two fifties.