At almost any other time in England’s ODI history a player of Jonny Bairstow’s ability and with his batting skill set would have been an automatic selection. As it is, with England’s plethora of attacking batting talent, he has had to fight very hard to get a consistent spot. Bairstow made his ODI debut for England with an impressive 41* against India all the way back in 2011 but it wasn’t until the summer of 2017 that he became a fixture in this team. Since then he has made six hundreds and averaged 53 with the bat. Now there is no doubt about his place in this team.
Part of the problem for Bairstow hasn’t just been that there has been so much batting talent he was competing with for a place in the team, there is also this ridiculous, once in a generation talent that is Jos Buttler. With Buttler taking on the wicket-keeping duties it made it even harder for Bairstow to make it into the team. Eventually the inescapable truth that even without the gloves he had to be in this team. There is no doubt that he is one of the best batsmen in the country and since he has moved up to opening the batting he has gone from strength to strength.
Bairstow has opened the batting 32 times for England and averages over 50 in that position with all six of his tons coming when he batted at the very top of the order. It is Bairstow and Jason Roy who have been amongst the most destructive forces in this formidable England batting line up, and the lightning quick starts have played such a huge part in the big scores England have made in recent years.