In Brief

Ashes 2019: Aussie bowlers will target Test cricket new boy Jason Roy

England opener Roy should expect a tough introduction to the Ashes

Ashes 1st Test: England vs. Australia 
  • When: 1-5 August 2019
  • Where: Edgbaston, Birmingham 
  • Daily start time: 11am (BST) 
  • TV channel: live on Sky Sports, highlights on Channel 5
  • Full schedule

The Ashes start on Thursday with the first Test at Edgbaston and Australia have bowled the first psychological bouncer with Jason Roy the target.

The England opener has bullied bowling attacks around the world in the white ball game, but he’s a novice at Test cricket and the Aussies aim to exploit his inexperience in the Ashes.

“We’ll see how Roy goes,” replied Australian seamer Josh Hazlewood when asked about the Surrey opener. 

“He has played one Test and it’s a lot different opening the batting in a Test than a one-day game, that’s for sure.”

Test cricket is tough

That Test was last week against Ireland, when Roy struggled to find the rhythm that he frequently shows in the one-day game. 

A key figure in England’s Cricket World Cup-winning campaign, Roy smashed 443 runs at an average of 63 (a figure that would have been higher but for a hamstring injury that sidelined him for a couple of games), but Hazlewood warned that Test cricket is a different proposition. 

“In England, opening is the toughest place to bat,” explained Hazlewood. “To play attacking cricket in these conditions is tough.”

Citing Aaron Finch, Australia’s one-day captain, as an example of the challenge of switching between Test and one-day cricket, Hazlewood said: “Aaron found it tough opening last summer [in the Test series] against a quality India attack on wickets that didn’t do too much, he found it a big step up. 

“The ball swung and seamed and the wickets were a lot different to a one-day wicket. It’s hard to bat five at a level below and then open in Test cricket.”

England bowler Jofra Archer (centre) celebrates a wicket in the Cricket World Cup win over South Africa

Philip Brown/Popperfoto via Getty Images

Archer assessed

While England hope Roy can bring his one-day International runs to the Test arena, they are also relying on Jofra Archer to be as devastating with the ball as he was in the World Cup.

The Sussex quick took 20 wickets in the tournament but he has yet to play a Test. Although he has been named in the Ashes squad, coach Trevor Bayliss hinted the 23-year-old may be rested from the first Test to ensure his full recovery from a recent side strain.

“He played for Sussex in a T20 match on Friday and came through that well,” Bayliss told BBC Radio 5 Live

“Test match cricket, five days, longer spells, is a little bit of a different beast so we’ll have to see where he’s at and take a little bit from the medical people as well… we don’t want to necessarily risk him.”

On naming the 14-man England squad for the first Test the ECB also confirmed that Ben Stokes has been re-appointed as Joe Root’s vice-captain. Stokes returns to the role for the first time since September 2017 and assumes responsibility from Jos Buttler.

Meanwhile, Australia have named a 17-man squad for the Ashes and included on the list are Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft - the trio who were banned for their part in the ball-tampering scandal in 2018. 

Ashes squads

England squad for first Ashes Test

Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes

Australia squad

Tim Paine (captain; wicketkeeper), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner

Ashes 2019 England vs. Australia: squads, fixtures, dates, betting odds, TV

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