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MAGELLAN ASHES 2017-18

England have batters to compete: Bairstow

30 September 2017

AFP


AFP


Fresh from an ODI century, wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow says there is strength in England's Ashes line-up despite Ben Stokes uncertainty

Jonny Bairstow is confident that England have the batsmen to compete in the Magellan Ashes but admits they need to learn quickly as they plan for Australia not even knowing if star allrounder Ben Stokes will be on the plane.

England thumped the West Indies by nine wickets on Friday to seal a 4-0 win in the one-day international series and end a long and successful season on a high note.

But the day-night match in Southampton was overshadowed by the Stokes scandal, with the player arrested earlier this week on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and suspended from internationals "until further notice".

England can ill afford to be without the big-hitting Durham allrounder, particularly with question marks over a number of positions in the top-order despite Test series wins against South Africa (3-1) and West Indies (2-1).

Joe Root's men are Ashes holders but they have lost two out of their past three tours Down Under 5-0 and are desperate to hit the ground running in Brisbane on November 23.

Friday's player-of-the-match Bairstow, who struck 141 not out as England eased to victory with 12 overs to spare against a poor West Indies, said he would go into the winter full of confidence after scoring two hundreds during the ODI series.

Bairstow ton nets England win in Manchester

"I'm pretty pleased," he said. "It's nice to finish a long summer with some runs and head into the winter with confidence. You wait a long time for a first hundred and when it comes you want to capitalise."

"If selection doesn't go your way, you have to bide your time and take the chance when it comes," added England's Test wicketkeeper, who appears to have finally secured a regular role in the one-day side.

England's next international fixture will be the first Test in Brisbane and Bairstow is confident their batting is good enough, when asked if the batsmen measure up to their one-day counterparts.

"If you actually look at it there's 50 first-class hundreds at six, seven, eight and nine so I don't know if you're classing that as weak," he said.

"Do please let me know another side in the world that's got 50 first-class hundreds in those three or four batting positions. That's been a strength of ours over a period of time and will continue to be.

"We're very fortunate to have all-rounders in those positions, whether that be in one-day cricket, T20 cricket or Test cricket."

There were Ashes recalls for middle-order batsmen James Vince and Gary Ballance despite the pair's struggles during their previous Test stints but Bairstow said a settled line-up cannot be achieved overnight.

"It takes a period of time for people to bed into an environment, to bed into a team, to bed into a role and learn a role," he said, stressing the difficulty of stepping up from county to international cricket.

"We do need to learn quickly because we've got a huge series on the horizon," he added. "It's something that is going to be tough but at the same time we're ready for the challenges that are ahead."

One-day skipper Eoin Morgan said he was delighted with England's performance against the backdrop of Stokes' arrest, saying the one-day team was benefiting from great strength in depth.

"We're spoiled for choice with the batsman that we have on offer – guys missing out, so certainly it raises the standard in the changing room," he said.

But neither player would not be drawn further on the Stokes situation.

England said the allrounder and teammate Alex Hales would not be considered for selection by England "until further notice" following the publication of a video by UK tabloid The Sun allegedly showing the pair in a disturbance in a street in the early hours of last Monday morning in Bristol.

Test vice-captain Stokes was included in the Ashes squad announced Wednesday, and reportedly suffered a hand injury during the alleged incident that led to his arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.

The 26-year-old Durham allrounder was released without charge on Monday but remains under investigation.

"Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will not be considered for selection for England international matches until further notice," the ECB's latest statement reads.

WATCH: Alleged footage of Stokes' Bristol brawl

"Each remains on full pay pending further ECB investigation and the on going Police investigation into an incident in Bristol in the early hours of Monday 25 September.

"Andrew Strauss, Director of England Cricket, will today (Thursday) refer the internal disciplinary procedure for these two players to the Cricket Discipline Commission, chaired by Tim O'Gorman.

"These decisions, fully supported by ECB Chairman Colin Graves, were made following the release of footage viewed by ECB for the first time on Wednesday night."


Australia's Qantas Tour of India

Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Patrick Cummins, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.

Australia T20 squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Jason Behrendorff, Dan Christian, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa.

India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.

ODI Fixtures

September 17: India won by 26 runs (DLS Method)

September 21: India won by 50 runs

September 24: India won by five wickets

September 28: Australia won by 21 runs

October 1: VCA Stadium, Nagpur

T20 Fixtures

October 7: JSCA International Stadium, Ranchi

October 10: Barsapara Stadium, Guwahati

October 13: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad