England Captain Eoin Morgan has said that Jonny Bairstow’s contribution against Ireland is unlikely to earn him a Champions Trophy starting place.

Bairstow, who was batting at No 5, hit 72 from 44 balls to help England secure a 2 – 0 series win over the Irish at Lord’s on Sunday. However, the imminent return of wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler and the all-rounder Ben Stokes from the Indian Premier League mean that England would need to find room for Bairstow as a specialist batsman as low as No 7 in the order.

Another option for the squad is the off-spinner Moeen Ali and Morgan has said that Bairstow is struggling to force his way into the starting XI for the start of the Champions Trophy on home soil next month.

Speaking this week Morgan said, “It is looking like that at the moment, which is unfortunate for him. You can’t guarantee how often he would be used. We’ve a really strong batting line-up, particularly when Stokes, Chris Woakes and Buttler come back in. I’m not sure about justifying an out-and-out batter at seven.”

He went on to say that, “The number of balls faced at seven, the spread is very small. Over the course of 10 games, if he faces 40 balls in one is he going to win you a game? Or could your all-rounder do the same job, get you up to a par score – and then contribute with the ball?”

Morgan then pointed out that with Stokes due back it allows the team to play another all-rounder with Moeen Ali at seven.

He also said that looking towards the tournament they are expecting better weather and slower pitches so they will need slower bowlers.