Jonny Bairstow to open batting in first ODI against West Indies confirms Morgan

Jonny Bairstow will partner Alex Hales at the top
Jonny Bairstow will partner Alex Hales at the top

England skipper Eoin Morgan has confirmed that Jonny Bairstow will open the batting along with Alex Hales in the upcoming first One-Day International against West Indies to be played at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Bairstow, one of England's leading performer in Test cricket opened the innings in the 50-over format for England during the semi-final of the recently concluded Champions Trophy game against Pakistan in the place of Jason Roy and scored a fluent 43 run knock.

Roy has managed just 68 runs in his last nine ODIs and the 27-year-old was dismissed for a duck in the one-off Twenty20 International against West Indies which the home side went on to lose by 21 runs at Chester-le-Street.

"Jonny is going to open with Alex Hales," Morgan told reporters at Old Trafford.

"We feel Jonny deserves a chance. He's been waiting in the wings for quite a while now.

"This is an opportunity to make the opening position his."

West Indies will be bolstered by the return of veteran batsmen Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels in the squad as they bid to continue their momentum from the T20I and keep them in the hunt for an automatic qualification to the 2019 World Cup and Morgan is wary of the challenge they possess.

"They're a strong outfit, (and) obviously have some additions, changes from the Test team -- so they're not a side we take lightly," said Morgan.

"A lot of our focus over the last couple of years has been on ourselves.

"I think to make that extra step, learning on from the Champions Trophy, this series for us is about producing consistent performances."

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