Bell in the firing line as Trott pays tribute to Bairstow

 

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The Independent Online

The World Cricketer of the Year, no less, paid handsome tribute to one of his colleagues yesterday. Perhaps Jonathan Trott could do little else considering the gloriously rampant nature of Jonny Bairstow's innings the previous evening but it was generous nonetheless.

"I was speaking to Tim Bresnan about it on the field and I can't recall being at the other end and seeing that," he said. "I've seen people do it on TV but that was very special and hopefully if he plays in the one-day series he can do it there as well.

"He was very impressive in Cardiff [on his debut against India last month]. To come in and play your first game and perform like that shows he's got a big-match temperament so hopefully that can continue." After Bairstow's innings of 104 not out from 53 balls in England's last warm-up match before the series begins tomorrow, it is difficult to see how he can be omitted. Suddenly, there is strong competition for places in England's batting line-up – with Eoin Morgan still to return – which may take strong selection decisions to resolve.

The man most under immediate threat is Ian Bell, who withdrew from the match on Tuesday due to illness shortly before the start. He had recovered yesterday and is available for selection but he may be overlooked. In a way, this is perverse considering that Bell is England's most-accomplished batsman and ranked joint No 2 in the world, but it is difficult to envisage Bell playing the kind of ODI innings that Bairstow can assemble. There are other options for England to discuss but they are limited. All the other batsmen, save Kevin Pietersen, have made runs.

India arrived in town yesterday. They prepared for the start of the series by making their nets optional.

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