Bairstow set to replace Roy for England in Champions Trophy

Hazel Gray
June 14, 2017

Talking to media at Cardiff ahead of England's semi-final in ICC Champions Trophy against Pakistan, Morgan hinted that Jason Roy may be dropped and Jonny Bairstow is likely to replace him.

Captain Eoin Morgan says England can not name their team until the day of the match for anti-corruption reasons but Jonny Bairstow would be a capable replacement for Roy.

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.

In 47 ODIs since then, England batsmen have scored 25 centuries, compared with 22 in 88 matches during the previous four years.

Though he was eventually picked up by Gujarat Lions, he failed to impress in the few matches he played and left the tournament midway as he found opportunities hard to come by.

"There is a chance there will be a change", said Morgan of Wednesday's game.

"I was particularly anxious that Roy hadn't fired yet because I think he's very close to something quite good", said the South African Arthur.

"He's always carried on playing the way we want him to play as a team and I think we have to stick by people in that case. I mentioned after the last game that we're getting to the business end of the tournament and we need to produce results, so it's important that we get what we feel is our best XI to win the tournament out tomorrow in order to win the game", Morgan was cited by espncricinfo as telling media persons. "I think his best attribute, certainly in white-ball cricket over the previous year and a half, has been his relentless attitude to scoring runs regardless of the situation".

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Bairstow has flourished at short notice before, having twice come into the side at the 11th hour in the past two years - against New Zealand at Durham in 2015 and during the Pakistan series at Headingley last year - and picked up the man of the match award with scores of 83 not out and 61 respectively.

Pakistan are also considering changes with coach Mickey Arthur planning to strengthen the middle order.

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

Pakistan are surprise contenders at the knockout stages of this tournament, especially after they started it with a 124-run defeat against India.

Asked whether it would have an impact on this semi-final, Morgan said: "I think the impact of that series was 4-1".

The ever cheerful Arthur, a veteran of several campaigns against England with his native South Africa, Australia and then previous year Pakistan, was happy to have his say - welcoming Roy's absence on the basis he was due to bat well, and querying Bairstow's credentials as an global opener.

The fact this match will be played on a used pitch may well act as a leveller. "They're a really, really good one-day unit with no apparent weaknesses".

And on the eve of a crunch fixture in the Welsh capital on Wednesday, it is a trough England and captain Eoin Morgan may no longer overlook - even though they won all three of their group stage matches to breeze into the last four. Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik were the top performers for them.

Other reports by VgToday

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