Bairstow happy to bat higher in Ashes

England's Jonny Bairstow normally bats behind teammate Ben Stokes at number seven, but may have to move up in the batting order after Stokes was arrested in September 2017

Jonny Bairstow said on Friday he would be happy to move up the England batting order for the upcoming Ashes series if talismanic all-rounder Ben Stokes is unavailable.

Stokes will not be on the flight to Australia on October 28, though no final decision has been taken on his involvement in the series.

The Test vice-captain was arrested in September on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and suspended from internationals until further notice following an apparent fight outside a nightclub.

Bairstow, who normally bats behind Stokes at number seven, told Sky Sports News: "I batted at five earlier on this summer in Tests so it's not something that would faze me too much because that's something I've done for Yorkshire since I came into the side.

"Wherever (captain) Joe (Root) and (coach) Trev (Bayliss) want me to bat, that can only be a good thing for the side. As long as I'm in the side then I'm not too fussed."

Bairstow was part of the last England side to travel Down Under four years ago, when the tourists suffered a chastening 5-0 series loss but the 28-year-old said England must remain optimistic.

"It's going to be a fantastic series," said the wicketkeeper. "It's something that if you don't look forward to it and you're not excited about it then you've already lost the battle.

"It's an exciting time. Everyone speaks about it, not just in England, not just in Australia but all around the world.

"We know that we're not just playing against 11 guys on the field, we're playing against a whole nation, but at the same time if you play well you earn the respect of that nation. We know how good a place it is to tour."

The first Test starting in Brisbane on November 23, with four more to follow.