ICC 2019 World Cup: Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy have put England back on track
WORLD CUP DURHAM: If Jonny does not understand you, Jos will. It's like a shotgun firing from both ends; It is an association that is inspiring England towards the World Cup trophy. Jonny Bairstow & Jason Roy They are proving to be much better than any other English opening pair in the history of their one-day cricket.
On Wednesday, on a slow wicket at the Riverside ground in Chester-le-Street, they added 123 in 112 balls - Bairstow slamming his second century (106 off 99 balls) on the trot - & Roy scoring his seventh 50-plus score (60 off 61 balls) in the last eight innings (three hundreds in the last 10 ODIs). England stuttered to 305 for eight after they were gone, but New Zealand folded up for 186 as the hosts marched into the World Cup semis for the first time since 1992.
It was the third time on the trot that Bairstow & Roy enjoyed a hundred-plus partnership, & tenth overall. As a pair, they've had the highest average of any ODI partnership that's had 30 innings, & also the highest strike rates among all ODI openers in history. No opening pair has enjoyed more than three century stands in a single World Cup campaign. The Bairstow-Roy alliance also has the best average for a partnership of any pair with more than 1,000 ODI runs between them in ODI history.
What makes your partner lethal is the fact that they do all these races at a good pace; his attack rate is also the highest for opening pairs with more than 1,000 races.
No wonder, Bairstow-Roy are being compared to the pairs of Desmond Haynes-Gordon Geenidge, Sachin Tendulkar-Sourav Ganguly & Mathew Hayden-Adam Gilchrist.
If India play England at Edgbaston in Birmingham in the World Cup semis, they need to be wary of this deadly duo, which caused them major damage in the league match. Bairstow had smashed 111, & Roy 66 off 57 balls as the two added 160 in just 133 balls in England's 31-run win last Sunday. In the context of that game, that partnership which killed the Indian spinners, taking 160 off their 20 overs, made the ultimate difference.
Naturally, England captain Eoin Morgan is pleased. "Yeah, it's brilliant to play with (this pair), really. If their average wasn't as high, their strike rate was still the same. The manner in which they played is most important because we bat all the way down. We are not asking our guys to average 50 & strike it at 120, that is unrealistic," he said.
Morgan praised the duo's ability to continue having incredible performances every time they walk towards the fold. But pushing the roof to what men would normally do was part of the process in which we have probably spent the first two years of the four-year cycle. But look where the kids are now, it's really amazing. He praised.
"The two of them are outstanding. I think when they play like that & build a partnership… is that both of them ebbed & flowed. Jonny got off to a flyer, Jason was quite slow to start & then caught up & Jonny slowed down. It was really brilliant to watch because normally you have two guys competing with each other the whole time trying to get ahead, trying to get the strike, trying to be more dominant, whereas as a partnership they are extremely dominant," he said.
Asked how does can stop Roy & Bairstow in full flow, Williamson said: "I don't know if there is an answer. Taking early wickets against anybody that you come up against is the best way to stem momentum."