Morgan hints at Bairstow-inclusion ahead of semi-final

Morgan hints at Bairstow-inclusion ahead of semi-final

England skipper Eoin Morgan has hinted at Jonny Bairstow’s inclusion in the playing XI for the first semi-final of ICC Champions Trophy 2017 against Pakistan at Swalec Stadium, Cardiff.

“There’s a chance that we could make a change,” Morgan said at the pre-match press conference, “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.”

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If Bairstow plays, he is likely to replace Jason Roy, who has had six single-digit scores in last eight ODI innings at an average of 6.37. The English skipper said that Bairstow doesn’t get upset by sitting on the bench match after match.

“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,” he said.

Bairstow opened the batting eight times in List A cricket. He smashed 174 last month in a Royal London One Day Cup match batting in this position. Morgan feels Bairstow will take the opportunity with both hands if he opens.

“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.”

-Ruffin, Correspondent,

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