Yorkshire's Jonny Bairstow will replace injured England batsman Kevin Pietersen for the deciding third test against New Zealand in Auckland.

Pietersen has been forced to leave the tour after being ruled out for eight weeks with a knee injury.

And England captain Alastair Cook says Bairstow will be handed a belated call-up after being on the peripheral during the winter.

Jonny Bairstow
Bairstow has struggled during his early test-match career.

"Obviously, it's a blow when you lose one of your senior batters and a guy who's performed consistently well for us over a number of years," Cook said.

"He's a great player, and will be missed but it gives an opportunity to Jonny Bairstow coming in.

"He's probably been a little unlucky not to be selected earlier, through circumstance this winter, so he has a great opportunity to try to end this winter well.

"It's great that we're in a very healthy position in the England squad at the moment that when players miss games because of injury other outstanding players can come in," said Cook.

"Young Jonny has a great opportunity now. One he probably didn't think he'd be having a couple of days ago but what a time to hopefully make a mark again."

Bairstow last played a test match for England mid-way through the series win in India, when he deputised for Ian Bell, who returned home for the birth of his first child, for the second test win in Mumbai.

The 23 year old missed the entire twenty20 and one-day series against India after being omitted from the first match before returning home due to a family illness.

The middle-order man has endured a difficult start to life in test match cricket with just two half-centuries to his name in seven innings, but with a top score of 95 against South Africa last summer.

His six innings in one-day cricket suggest where his expertise lies, with a strike rate of 76.77 and a lighting 41 from 21 on debut against India.

England are expected to be otherwise unchanged for the third test at Eden Park, with the series tied at 0-0 after rain-affected draws at Dunedin and Wellington, as James Anderson has sufficiently recovered from back and ankle problems.