Ashes Jonny Bairstow in for Gary Ballance in England squad for third Ashes Test

Gary Ballance has paid for his poor form by being omitted from the England squad for the third Ashes Test in favour of Jonny Bairstow.

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Jonny Bairstow has replaced Gary Ballance in the England squad for the third Ashes Test with Australia at Edgbaston.

Ballance has come in for criticism for his performances in recent times as part of a fragile England top order, scoring just 37 runs in the 405-run defeat in the second Test at Lord's.

Left-hander Ballance did score 61 in the first innings in the first Test win in Cardiff, but followed that up with a duck and has now lost his place to his Yorkshire team-mate, who has been in fine form in the County Championship.

Bairstow has five first-class centuries this season, his latest coming on Sunday as England were slumping to defeat, the right-hander scoring 139 in Yorkshire's clash with Worcestershire.

The 25-year-old also helped England win the recent one-day series with New Zealand with a match-winning unbeaten 83 in the fifth and final game in Durham.

He will slot in at number five in the line-up, with Joe Root moving up to four and the out-of-form Ian Bell going to Ballance's spot at three.

National selector James Whitaker said: "The break ahead of the third Test will give the squad time to reflect on series so far and a chance to focus on playing the positive, confident cricket we saw in Cardiff.

"For the third Test Ian Bell will move up the order to bat at three followed by Joe Root with Jonny Bairstow coming in at five. Jonny has worked extremely hard at his game and his record for Yorkshire speaks for itself. He fully deserves this opportunity.

"Gary was naturally disappointed to miss out on this occasion however we feel that he will benefit from some time in county cricket to rediscover his form.

"He has already had plenty of success at international level and as selectors we are confident Gary will play a significant role for England in the future.

"On behalf of the selectors I'd like to wish [captain] Alastair [Cook], [coach] Trevor [Bayliss] and the squad all the very best for what will I'm sure be an entertaining and competitive Test next week."

Squad in full: Alastair Cook (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Adam Lyth, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Mark Wood.

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