London - England coach Trevor Bayliss admitted he faced some
difficult selection decisions ahead of next month's Champions Trophy after the
tournament hosts launched their preparations with a 2-0 series win at home to Ireland
Test wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow, deployed as a specialist
batsman, made a blistering 72 not out as England beat Ireland by 85 runs in the
second one-day international at Lord's on Sunday.
England were in danger of falling short of 300 until
Bairstow, ably assisted by Yorkshire colleague Adil Rashid (39) led a charge
that saw 61 runs scored in the final four overs of an eventual total of 328 for
Sam Billings took the gloves in both Sunday's match and
England's seven-wicket win over Ireland in Bristol on Friday in place of Jos
Buttler, one of several England white-ball 'regulars' who missed the series
because of their Indian Premier League commitments.
But Buttler, along with all-rounders Ben Stokes and Chris
Woakes will be back from the IPL when England continue their Champions Trophy
build-up with a three-match campaign at home to South Africa later this month.
"We know there are sterner tests coming up, with South
Africa in a couple of weeks' time and then the Champions Trophy coming up after
that, but we have won well and we can't do anything more than that,"
Bayliss told Sky Sports.
"I think there's probably not a lot between the three
keepers but the amount of runs Jonny scores, it'd be hard to leave him
out," said Australian coach Bayliss.
"Every time we give him a go, he gets the job done for
Meanwhile Bairstow told reporters: "I'm pleased with
the way I'm striking the ball and moving at the crease, and the by-product is
the runs you score."
And he made it clear he wanted to get into the Champions
Trophy team, with England bidding to win their first major ODI tournament.
"It's something I've been targeting - I want to be a part of every England side going forward," said Bairstow.
"We have a heck of a lot of talent in the group, but if
I put in the performances then who knows?"
In the field, Durham fast bowler Mark Wood, returning from a
third ankle operation, impressed with some lively overs against Ireland.
"Wood brings a bit of extra pace, he's got that
X-factor - he's our quickest bowler, he can get the ball to reverse as well and
he can be hard to handle," said Bayliss.
Joe Root, one of five Yorkshire players in England's XI, was
named man-of-the-match after making an elegant 73 during a partnership of 140
with captain Eoin Morgan (76) and then taking an ODI-best three for 52 with his
"We're building momentum towards the Champions Trophy
and this was another step towards that," said Root, England's new Test captain.
"We want to be put under pressure just before a major
tournament, it'll be great to see how the lads respond (against South
Ireland captain William Porterfield led from the front on
Sunday with 82 as the Test aspirants restored some pride after being shot out
for a mere 126 in Bristol.
At Lord's, they were dismissed for 243 just 23 balls from
the scheduled finish, having made life awkward for England prior to Bairstow's
"I thought we were much improved today," said
Porterfield, whose side face Bangladesh in Malahide on Friday in the start of a
triangular one-day series also featuring New Zealand.
"We kept going while that big partnership was
happening, we got (Root and Morgan) out, but Bairstow did well at the end and
got them to a big total.
"And even with the bat, we were probably just a couple of wickets behind the game most of the way. If we had a couple more in hand at the end, we were in the game."