Morgan drops Bairstow hint ahead of Pakistan SF

England opener Jason Roy may pay the price for a poor run of form

England skipper Eoin Morgan has indicated that Jonny Bairstow is likely to replace the out-of-form opener Jason Roy for the semi-final encounter against Pakistan at Cardiff.

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.

With an able replacement in Jonny Bairstow waiting in the wings, it is nearly certain that Roy will make way for the 27-year-old, who has been unfortunate to be left on the bench despite scoring half-centuries in his past two ODI innings.

And while captain Eoin Morgan refused to confirm the switch explicitly this morning, he did say he has full confidence in Bairstow should he step in.

"We're getting to the business end of the tournament and we need to produce results", said Morgan, whose side are vying for a place in Sunday's final at The Oval and a chance to win their first 50-over global title.

Jason Roy has enjoyed a wretched tournament thus far, and was restricted to a minor role at the team's training session on match eve, deep in conversation with coach Trevor Bayliss on the boundary line while Bairstow had a long hit in the nets. Pakistan came into the tournament as the eighth-ranked team and are highly unpredictable, only just qualifying for the last four by beating Sri Lanka by three wickets in a see-saw game on Monday.

Morgan added: "Jonny is a fantastic batsman". "I think his best attribute, certainly in white-ball cricket over the previous year and a half, has been his relentless attitude to scoring 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 came from playing in Yorkshire to coming straight into the squad, having played no part in the series, and came in and produced a match-winning knock. So I think his all-around ability is as good as we have in this squad.

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English openers Jonathan Bairstow and Alex Hales made a decent start, making 34 before Rumman Raees sent the latter back to the pavilion courtesy of a Babar Azam catch. "So if he's not playing, that wouldn't be too bad", Arthur said. Getting to this stage of the tournament, we need results, and if that means somebody misses out, it is unfortunate, but for the team's sake, we need to get results.

"We want to win this tournament".

England entered that final match of the series already leading 4-0. I suppose they have variation, but certainly, we do have plans against all of them.

Morgan insisted Roy was still part of England's plans, but admitted they can not leave anything to chance with Sunday's final so close. Because it's a used wicket, because it's an early start, it draws different factors.

Though he was eventually picked up by Gujarat Lions, he failed to impress in the few matches he played and left the tournament midway as he found opportunities hard to come by.

For England, it wasn't just Roy's lack of runs but also signs during this tournament that his mindset was struggling. "We'll have to turn up tomorrow and see how dry the wicket is".

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