England one-day skipper Eoin Morgan has suggested that Jonny Bairstow is an unlikely starter in next month’s Champions Trophy despite his run-scoring exploits for both club and country.
Bairstow struck 72 from just 44 deliveries during England’s victory over Ireland at Lord’s on Sunday, which followed a knock of 174 for Yorkshire in the One-Day Cup last week and a sustained period of scoring in red-ball cricket.
But Morgan would appear to view Bairstow, who received praise from head coach Trevor Bayliss following his performance against Ireland, as cover in the 15-man squad.
“For Jonny to get in, it needs to be in the top six with someone getting injured,” said Morgan. “It is looking like that at the moment, which is unfortunate for him.”
The availability of Ben Stokes following his Indian Premier League commitments is likely to see Worcestershire off-spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali, who was left out of the squad to face Ireland, slot in at No7.
“With Ben coming back into the side it allows us to play another all-rounder in the side with Mo at No7,” added Morgan. “You could bat Bairstow at No7 but to justify an out and out batter at No7, I’m not sure you can.
“The number of balls faced at No7, the spread of them is very small so over the course of say 10 games, if he faces 40 balls in one game is he going to face 40 balls that will win you a game, or could your all-rounder do the same job?”
England, who have been installed as favourites, begin their Champions Trophy campaign with a clash against Bangladesh at the Kia Oval on 1 June.