Bairstow then traveled with the squad to India in the same year, hoping that he would be given another chance to play. It happened, thanks to a hundred that he scored in their warm-up game against Hyderabad, which ultimately saw him replacing the experienced Ian Bell in the ODI side. The following year, he was given his Test cap in the home series against West Indies. He showed signs of early maturity when he came out against a lethal South African pace attack in the Lord's Test and scored a gutsy 95, replacing Kevin Pietersen at the No.4 position. A fifty in the second innings stamped his authority in the middle order. Later in 2012, he was included in Yorkshire's T20 squad ahead of the Champions League T20 in South Africa but couldn't play due to an injury. Bairstow had his chances during England's 3-0 drubbing of Australia in the 2013 Ashes at home but failed to make any impact and struggled to find a regular Test spot.
A return to county and a change in technique - holding the bat way up alongside him - saw him sore back amongst runs. He had a dream 2015 with Yorkshire, scoring as many as 1108 First-Class runs at 92.33. Bairstow faced stiff competition from Jos Buttler but the latter's slump in form saw him return to the Test team in 2016. Jonny didn't let the selectors down as he racked up most runs in a calendar year for a keeper and finished in the top two overall. Along with it, he also effected the highest number of dismissals in a calendar year for a keeper. In him, England found a stable middle order batsman who showed tremendous application irrespective of conditions and became one of the mainstays for them.