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Bairstow to open against Windies in ODIs

219   //    18 Sep 2017, 19:56 IST
JonnyBairstow - Cropped
England's Jonny Bairstow

Jonny Bairstow will open the batting for England against West Indies when the five-match one-day international series gets under way on Tuesday.

Captain Eoin Morgan confirmed the news on Monday, with Bairstow set to replace Jason Roy and partner Alex Hales at the top of the order at Old Trafford.

Roy made a golden duck as England went down by 21 runs in Saturday's one-off Twenty20 meeting at Durham, while Hales made a blistering 43 off 17 balls and Bairstow a battling 27 in a losing cause.

Morgan feels Bairstow's promotion is well deserved after a run of good form, and he will be given the chance to stake a claim for making the role his own on a full-time basis.

"We feel that he deserves a chance after waiting in the wings for quite a while now," said Morgan. "It is an opportunity to make the opening position his.

"We feel it's the right time to make a change. Jonny has been in fantastic form for some time now and has never let us down, regardless of the role we have asked him to play."

England welcome back Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali after the all-rounders were rested at Chester-le-Street, and Morgan is glad to be back at full strength.

"It's a nice problem to have, fitting everyone in," said the skipper. "We are spoilt for choice at the moment and it gives us the luxury of playing around with the balance of the side.


"Consistency is the area where we have most room for improvement. We have a huge amount of potential, but producing that on a consistent basis is important for our development."

Chris Gayle - whose first of four sixes at Durham was his 100th maximum in T20Is - is set to play his first ODI since the 2015 World Cup.

"It's obviously a huge boost with the calibre of player Chris is," said Windies captain Jason Holder. "We can expect some really good things from him.

"He showed some form in the T20 and the Caribbean Premier League. He seems upbeat, up for the challenge and really happy to be back."

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