With Test and T20 places up for grabs following England's turbulent winter, international hopefuls must make the headlines for match-winning contributions.
Matt Prior, who scored a century on Tuesday, was dropped in favour of Jonny Bairstow for the final two Ashes matches Down Under.
But Yorkshire's wicket-keeper has damaged his chances of retaining this Test spot by fracturing a finger.
It was caused while taking a delivery behind the stumps off Liam Plunkett in a three-day match against Northamptonshire.
This injury prevents Bairstow from showcasing his aggressive batting style in the County Championship and making his 15th Test appearance.
Other 'keepers could leapfrog the Bradford-born youngster in the pecking order for June's series against Sri Lanka.
If Jos Buttler scores heavily for Lancashire then Bairstow is in danger of being third in the queue after failing to make a notable contribution during the 2013/14 Ashes.
The 24-year-old has failed to score significantly for England after his Test-best 95 against South Africa at Lord's two years ago.
Joe Root and Gary Ballance, two newcomers to international cricket, are both ahead of their county team-mate in the selector's minds after playing in the 50-over series defeat to Australia.
As England bid to regain their phenomenal past displays, Bairstow faces a huge challenge in rediscovering his form and representing his country in Test cricket again.
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