<
>

The importance of the Roy-Bairstow partnership in England's success

One of the key factors behind England's batting revolution over the last few years has been their opening combination, especially since Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy started opening together. Rarely have both openers tried to outdo each other in terms of strike-rates and averages, and have consistently proven themselves crucial to England's success. Here is a look at what makes them a force at the top of the order.

In a fairly short time, Bairstow and Roy have notched up some remarkable numbers. Among opening pairs who have added a minimum of 1000 runs, Roy and Bairstow have the highest average of 67.70. Only five other pairs have an average in excess of 51.

The duo have also scored all these runs at a very quick rate. Among pairs that have made 1000 runs, Roy and Bairstow have been scoring at 7.11 runs per over - the quickest by a distance. Martin Guptill and Brendon Mccullum scored at 6.59 while Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag scored at 6.42. Roy and Bairstow have ten century partnerships and seven stands between 50 and 100. In this World Cup, the pair has opened five times. After failing in the first two innings, they followed it up with three consecutive century stands. Without Roy, England have struggled at the top: his replacement James Vince scored 26, 14 and 0 in three innings alongside Bairstow. With Roy at the top, England average 101 runs per wicket in the Powerplay and strike at over 6 runs per over. Without him, they average 30.8 runs per wicket and score at 4.6 runs per over.

Roy and Bairstow have scored over 400 runs together in just five innings in this World Cup and have an average of over 80. Only India openers, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, average better than them.

England have lost just one game where the pair put on a century opening partnership, and have won 83% of the matches when they have put on at least 50 runs.

Roy or Bairstow - who is the better batsman?

Roy and Bairstow have some incredible numbers against their names. For any opener with a minimum of 1000 runs in ODIs, Bairstow and Roy occupy the top two in the best strike-rates list. They have both scored nine centuries each. England have won 85% of the ODIs when Roy has scored a fifty, and are yet to lose a game in 2019 with a fifty-plus score from the batsman. Since Champions Trophy 2017, in the first ten overs, Bairstow has been striking at 108.4, and Roy at 104.06. While Bairstow leads the charts among all batsmen in that list, Roy is third. New Zealand's Colin Munro separates them.

A lot of teams have tried bowling spin to the pair early on but their numbers show a completely different picture, compared to a perception of weakness against spin. While Roy averages 39.24 with a strike-rate of 114.6, Bairstow's averages an outstanding 61.06 and strikes at 106.5 against spin. That perception of the pair being troubled by spin is mainly due to their numbers in Asian conditions, where Bairstow averages 23.16 and strikes at 84.7 while Roy averages 27.25 and strikes at 105.3.