Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England ODI captain Eoin Morgan has admitted that batsman Jonny Bairstow is unlikely to be part of the starting line-up during the Champions Trophy in June.
Morgan’s comments come after Bairstow revealed that he was eager to be part of the playing XI after proving what he is capable of doing with the bat in the second ODI against Ireland at Lord’s on Sunday.
In the match, which England won by 85 runs, Bairstow hammered an unbeaten 72 off 44 balls.
But, given the plethora of talented players England have to choose from, Morgan conceded that Bairstow is unlikely to make the cut when it comes to the players that take to the field.
“It is looking like that at the moment – which is unfortunate for him,” he said. “You can’t guarantee how often he would be used.
“We’ve a really strong batting line-up, particularly when Stokes, Chris Woakes and Buttler come back in. I’m not sure about justifying an out-and-out batter at seven.
“The number of balls faced at seven, the spread is very small. Over the course of 10 games, if he faces 40 balls in one is he going to win you a game? Or could your all-rounder do the same job, get you up to a par score – and then contribute with the ball?
“With Ben coming back into the side, it allows us to play another all-rounder – with Mo at seven. I suppose you could go five out-and-out quicks, with Ben and one spinner.
“But planning towards the tournament, we envisage better weather and slower pitches – so we’ll need slower bowlers potentially.”
In the 25 ODIs Bairstow has played to date, he has scored 596 runs, which includes four half-centuries, at an average of 37.25.