England one-day side 'most difficult sports team in the world' to break into, says Tom Banton

August 03, 2020

England's one-day side is "the most difficult sports team in the world" to break into, according to batsman Tom Banton.

The three-match one-day international series against Ireland has given a number of players the opportunity to press their claims with a number of the world champions' key personnel missing as they gear up for the Test series against Pakistan.

Banton is among those trying to force his way into Eoin Morgan's side and will want to finish the series in style in Tuesday's third ODI.

"It's probably the most difficult sports team in the world to get into at the moment," he said.

"Especially for me as an opener, trying to get in ahead of Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow is pretty hard. I'm just going to keep trying to score as many runs as possible and see where that takes me."

That established partnership of Roy and Bairstow at the top of the order has meant Banton has had to slot in at No 4 in the first two games against Ireland and after scores of 11 and 15, he is hoping to go big in the third.

"I'd like to think [I'm due a score]. I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself and enjoy it," he added. "Playing for England is a dream come true and whether this is my last game for England or whatever, I'm just going to try and enjoy it as much as possible.

"Every level I've gone up to, it's taken me a few games to get used. I remember when I first started playing for Somerset for the first 10 games I didn't get above 40 and then I got a hundred.

"That gives you a bit of confidence and you don't look back. I'm hoping that big score is just around the corner and I can kick on from there."

Meanwhile, England will be without Reece Topley though as they try to complete a 3-0 series whitewash after the seamer was ruled out with a left groin strain.

The 26-year-old left-armer will have a scan to confirm the extent of the injury but England are not expecting him to be out of action for more than a couple of weeks.

Even if the injury does prove to be relatively minor, Topley will no doubt be frustrated to miss Tuesday's game at the Ageas Bowl having made his first England appearance since 2016 in Saturday's win in Southampton, after an injury-ravaged few years.

Topley looked sharp, taking 1-31 in his nine overs, and will be targeting a return to fitness in time for England's three-match T20I series against Pakistan at the end of August.

Tom Curran played the series opener and is likely to return to the XI in Topley's absence.

Watch the third ODI between England and Ireland, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 1.30pm on Tuesday.

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