Cricket News: Jonny Bairstow to open for England in the World Cup, as Rob Key gets a call from Alex Hales

    Despite Alex Hales' requests for a recall, Jonny Bairstow will return to the top of the England T20 World Cup hierarchy

    Jonny Bairstow to open for England in the World Cup Jonny Bairstow to open for England in the World Cup

    Bairstow has traditionally batted in the middle order for England in T20s, but with Jason Roy out, he will take on the role he has played so well in ODIs. The other opener will be Jos Buttler.

    That's despite Hales, who hasn't played international cricket since early 2019, calling England men's cricket managing director Rob Key and arguing for a recall.

    Bairstow has opened in 16 of his 66 T20Is, averaging 24.31 with a strike rate of 133.67. He has batted 36 times in the middle order (Nos. 4–6), averaging 27.88 with a strike rate of 131.01. 

    Alex Hales has batted first in 55 of his 60 T20Is, averaging 30.51 with a strike rate of 136.77.

    "I spoke to Alex Hales, he rang me actually, and he argued why he wasn't there, and I think that's quite right too. I prefer when these people pick up the phone and say, 'come on then, why wasn't I there?' I have massive respect for that as opposed to people who go behind the scenes moaning about why they've not been picked.

    "I still think he's a fantastic player but the timing [ of his loss of form] has been awful for him" Rob Key on the decision to drop Jason Roy.


    Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Jonathan Bairstow, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood (traveling reserves: Richard Gleeson, Liam Dawson, Tymal Mills)