Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 July 2019

Jason Roy is 'definite option' to play for England in the Ashes

Coach Trevor Bayliss backs the batsman to do well in Test cricket if he is called up

A Test call-up for the Ashes is being considered by England for opener Jason Roy. Getty
A Test call-up for the Ashes is being considered by England for opener Jason Roy. Getty

England coach Trevor Bayliss has said opener Jason Roy, who is usually considered a one-day international (ODI) specialist, is a "definite option" to face Australia in the Ashes series which follows the 50-overs World Cup.

The swaggering South Africa-born batsman has played more than a hundred short-format matches for England and Bayliss said he would consider using the 28-year-old when the five-Test series against Australia starts in August.

"I think so, whether at the top of the order or at three," the Australian told the BBC.

"It is no secret that in Test cricket we are looking for a solid combination at the top of the order since (Alastair) Cook retired last year.

"Roy's had success at international cricket and that goes along way to being able to handle the pressure. It's a definite option we've been talking about around the selection table for the last 12 months or so."

Roy, who together with fellow opening batsman Jonny Bairstow has been pivotal in giving England good starts at the World Cup, said he would relish the chance to play a part in trying to wrest the coveted urn back from Australia.

"Playing Test cricket and playing in the Ashes has been an ambition of mine for years," Roy said.

"If the call comes, then great it comes, but if it doesn't then so be it. Of course my ambition is to play Test cricket and see how I go."

England have struggled on the openers front in recent years and have not had a consistent opening pair since Andrew Strauss retired in the summer of 2012.

The retirement of Cook last September after the 4-1 home series victory over India has only heightened the pressure to find some balance at the top of the order.

Rory Burns, Keaton Jennings and Joe Denly were used as openers in the 2-1 series loss to the West Indies at the start of the year, with none of the trio making a compelling argument for lining up against Australia when the first Test starts on August 1 at Edgbaston.

Roy has hit one century and three fifties during the World Cup and his importance to the side was highlighted by the fact England lost twice when he was injured with a hamstring strain that ruled him out of three games.

He has played international cricket for England since 2014 when he made his Twenty20 debut, with his first ODI cap coming 12 months later.

England have tried adapting ODI specialists to the longer form of the game previously, but with little success.

Alex Hales, a prolific scorer in limited overs cricket, played 11 Tests for England between December 2015 and August 2016.

But he averaged only 27 and made five half-centuries before he was dropped after scoring just six and 12 in a 10-wicket loss to Pakistan at The Oval.

Updated: July 8, 2019 01:25 PM

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