CT 2017 Semifinal: Bairstow may replace Roy vs Pakistan, hints Morgan
Cardiff: On the eve of their ICC Champions Trophy semi-final match against Pakistan here on Wednesday, England skipper Eoin Morgan hinted at opting for Jonny Bairstow to open the innings in place of an out-of-touch Jason Roy.
Roy, who has averaged 6.37 from eight One-day International (ODI) innings so far this season, with six single-figure scores, could lose his place in the playing XI despite Bairstow's inexperience of opening the batting.
While Morgan did not reveal his playing XI, he dropped enough hints of a change at the top of the batting order, saying there's a "chance" of a change.
"There's a chance that we could make a change," he said, "obviously we don't announce the team until the toss -- but there's a chance there could be a change. 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'd have no worries if he has to open the batting. I certainly believe we're in a good position at the moment as a batting unit and if Jonny does get the opportunity, I'm sure he'll take it with both hands," he added.
Hailing Bairstow's abilities with the willow, Morgan said: "Jonny's qualities are that he's a fantastic batsman. I think his best attribute, certainly in white-ball cricket over the last year and a half, has been his relentless attitude to score runs regardless of the situation."
"When you have guys sitting on the sidelines they can get a little bit upset and that can affect their performance when the actual chance comes along, but that doesn't seem to affect Jonny.
"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."
"So I think his all-round ability is as good as we have in the squad. But, like I've mentioned before, it's a very difficult team to get into and you've just got to wait for your chance," he added.
While England take on Pakistan in the first semi-final, defending champions India will be up against Bangladesh in the second semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday.