Bairstow set to replace Roy for England in Champions Trophy

Lynette Rowe
June 15, 2017

England's actions spoke much louder than their words in Cardiff where it became clear they would drop Jason Roy in favour of Jonny Bairstow for the Champions Trophy semi-final against Pakistan.

That equivocal response came after Roy, who has made just 51 runs in his eight ODI innings this summer, had been deployed fielding others' big hits on the boundary edge while Bairstow joined England's other front-line batsmen in the nets.

Despite Roy's struggles, England have opted to stick with him seemingly until now, with captain Eoin Morgan suggesting in Tuesday's media conference that Bairstow would come in as a replacement.

However, with Jonny Bairstow waiting in the wings and in good nick, it seems as though the selectors have finally taken the option to give the Yorkshireman the nod to face the Asians.

"I'd have no worries if he has to open the batting".

Bairstow has made three half-centuries in four one-day innings for England this year. "So if he's not playing, that wouldn't be too bad", Arthur said. "I think his best attribute, certainly in white-ball cricket over the previous year and a half, has been his relentless attitude to score runs regardless of the situation". I see the best in them, and I believe in them a huge amount.

"One innings he did play for us won us a series, against New Zealand, a match-winning knock up at Durham two years ago - and that sort of sums him up, he came from playing for Yorkshire, straight into the squad having played no part in the series, and he produces a match-winning knock".

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The Surrey opener has played a key role in England's resurgence since the 2015 World Cup. Arthur is considering whether Sarfraz should bat higher after his unbeaten 61 saw them home against Sri Lanka. England go into the semi-final as the favourites as they are the only unbeaten team in the tournament and have scored 300-plus totals five times in their last six games.

"(But) it's just shown the resolve the players have had and certainly the belief I as coach have had in our boys.

In more recent times, he has earned a reputation as England's white-ball supersub - rarely in their first-choice team but never letting them down when needed. "Pakistan are a very strong bowling line-up".

"So I think just continuing to play our own game and reinforcing that our own game works". Because it is a used wicket, because it's an early start draws different factors.

But Arthur knows his team are likely to need their best performance of the tournament so far if they are to reach Sunday's final at The Oval. We've had a little bit of success, and we've played the right brand of cricket, but getting games under guys' belts in order to win a World Cup is very important because, when you get to the latter stages of a World Cup, you need to have, say, 100 games under your belt in order to produce your best at that stage, added Morgan.

England: Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (captain), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood, Jake Ball.

But Morgan will be wary of a side who clearly relish conditions in Cardiff where past year they chased down a target of 303 to beat England, with Sarfraz Ahmed hitting 90.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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