Ashes 2019: can Jason Roy be England’s danger man against Australia?
Cricket World Cup star will make his England Test debut at Lord’s
Jason Roy says he can bring his one-day form to Test cricket as he prepares to make his England debut against Ireland at Lord’s today.
The big-hitting batsman has been a staple of the short game for several seasons but he is now being tasked with the same role in the Test side, something he says he is relishing.
“It’s a very, very new challenge and something I have been excited for, and nervous for, the last couple of years,” Roy told Sky Sports Cricket.
“I have been in a good place with my cricket and feel in the best place I can be to succeed… the reason I have been so successful in the last couple of years and playing such good cricket at the top of the order is because my defence has been in really good order.
“I have picked up lengths quicker, I am looking to play straighter and later. That should hopefully stand me in good stead with the red ball.”
Making the transition
The 29-year-old Roy was one of the key players in England’s recent World Cup triumph, the opening batsman scoring 443 runs at 63.28 as they lifted the trophy for the first time.
Arguably his most impressive knock was the 85 he scored in the semi-final win over Australia, an innings in which he dealt contemptuously with Aussie fast bowler Mitchell Starc.
The two will face each other again next week when the Ashes series starts at Edgbaston, and Roy can’t wait to confront the paceman and prove he has the all-round game to succeed at Test cricket.
“He bowled some very good deliveries that I just blocked straight back,” said Roy.
“I think that sent a strong message that I have my defence in order. I am going to go out there and play my strong shots.
“I am going to look to defend and leave well and go from there, see how my innings progresses. I know how to build an innings so it’s a case of targeting on the day where I’m feeling strong and where I’m not feeling so strong.”
England’s greatest challenge at Lord’s against the Irish - who are playing only their third Test (having previously lost at home to Pakistan and away to Afghanistan) - will be complacency, given that their focus is firmly on the upcoming Ashes series.
Furthermore, they will be without the bulk of their pace attack with James Anderson, Mark Wood and Jofra Archer all sidelined with injury.
Anderson’s calf injury is expected to have been recovered for Edgbaston but the match against Ireland allows England to have a closer look at the exciting young talent of Olly Stone.
The 25-year-old Warwickshire quick, capable of bowling at more than 90mph, played four one-day internationals last winter but then suffered a stress fracture in his lower back that kept him out of action until this month.
“Olly’s got good pace, that’s one thing he brings to this squad, and it’s a good opportunity to see him play this week,” said England Test captain Joe Root.
Pride and passion
Asked what his message would be to the team before taking the field today at Lord’s for the four-day Test, Root replied: “The most important thing for me, the message to the squad, is to play with a huge amount of pride and passion.
“The intensity this week will set the tone for the rest of the summer.”
England vs. Ireland Test match
- When: 24-28 July
- Where: Lord’s, London
- Start time: 11am
- TV channel: live on Sky Sports
England team to play Ireland
Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, Rory Burns, Sam Curran, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Stuart Broad, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Jason Roy, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes
Ashes fixtures: England vs. Australia
- 1-5 August: 1st Test (Edgbaston, Birmingham)
- 14-18 August: 2nd Test (Lord’s, London)
- 22-26 August: 3rd Test (Headingley, Leeds)
- 4-8 September: 4th Test (Old Trafford, Manchester)
- 12-16 September: 5th Test (The Oval, London)
- Daily start time: 11am (BST)
- TV channel: live on Sky Sports