England fans will have feared the worst after seeing Jason Roy clutch his hamstring on Friday.
His brutal 153 against Bangladesh earlier in the tournament was a reminder of his ability to win games on his own and his opening partnership with Jonny Bairstow has been one of the major reasons for England’s rise in the ODI rankings.
The initial diagnosis didn’t look good for Roy, but serious long-term fears were eased soon after, with him ruled out of the next two matches against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.
Roy’s injury will provide another welcome opportunity for James Vince.
The Hampshire captain has struggled to cement his place in the England side, guilty of giving his wicket away after making several promising starts.
There aren’t many prettier sights than Vince in full flow, though his effortless cover drive has often proved his downfall, with opposition bowlers feeling he’ll always give you a chance.
He averages just over 28 in ODIs and has only passed 50 once in his 10 matches, a modest record for someone of his talent.
Although the two have not opened together often, Vince and Bairstow have a decent record alongside each other.
In their last three innings, they average 63.6 runs for the first wicket, with two 50 partnerships.
Afghanistan have struggled to make an impression with the ball so far and England will be hoping their openers can continue their destructive approach in Roy’s absence.
They’ve conceded an average of 68.6 runs for the opening wicket and I fancy Vince and Bairstow to continue the trend at Old Trafford today.
Sporting Index offer a spread of 56- 61 on the fall of England’s first wicket and there are plenty of reasons to suggest buying at 61 looks the way to go.
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