Jason Roy set for return as England’s World Cup line-up takes shape

Sports May 10, 2019 22:34

Jason Roy is set to start the second ODI against Pakistan on an Ageas Bowl surface that should offer up plenty of runs

Jason Roy set for return as England’s World Cup line-up takes shape
ason Roy looked in good shape during a nets session after struggling with back spasms in recent weeks. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

There was a glimpse of summer in the Hampshire countryside on the eve of England’s second one-day international against Pakistan. The players could practise without balaclavas and a pristine pitch lay dormant under the sun in readiness to deliver its bounty of runs on the morrow. It looks a belter. After the rain at the Oval there is the prospect of a proper game and all the tickets have been sold.

This is particularly good news for Jason Roy, who is expected to be fit to play after being plagued by back spasms for more than a fortnight. This summer he has had three brief innings for Surrey in the Championship. He needs a bit of time in the middle and there are few better places to do that than at the Ageas Bowl, where he is expected to resume his partnership with Jonny Bairstow at the top of the order.

Another regular is likely to return to the fray. Moeen Ali, like Roy, could do with an outing in 50-over cricket after his forays in the Indian Premier League. So the side likely to take the field on Saturday is much closer to the one that England may choose to play on 30 May against South Africa when it gets really serious. That possible XI currently includes Jofra Archer.

So the two men destined for the reserve slots, James Vince and Joe Denly, will be able to practise running on to the field in bibs to deliver refreshment and encouragement from the dressing room. It seems the England hierarchy is committed to both of these players being in the final 15 – unless Denly’s bowling is deemed too flaky and he is replaced late in the day by Liam Dawson. The notion of an extra paceman in the final squad, given the fact so many of their fast bowlers are prone to picking up niggles that require a game’s rest, has been shunned.

No doubt Vince would have loved to play on his home ground on Saturday but he expects to give way to Roy. There is the consolation that Hampshire’s captain will be able to play for his county here on Sunday in the semi-final of the Royal London Cup. This is obviously a sensible move and a rare acknowledgment from the England and Wales Cricket Board that the domestic 50-over competition deserves support. That tournament has been a great success despite some Siberian temperatures. It is a pity it has effectively been consigned to the dustbin from 2020 onwards.

So Vince is sanguine about missing out against Pakistan. At the start of the summer he would not have expected to be in the squad. His good form and the sudden omission of Alex Hales have worked in his favour. “It’s great to be back among the lads and I want to push my case into that World Cup squad if I get an opportunity,” he said. “If he [Hales] was here, I don’t think I would be.”

Vince, we know, has the knack of timing and no innings was more timely than his record-breaking 190 for Hampshire against Gloucestershire on 26 April – just before the necessity to replace Hales became apparent.

Vince can bat anywhere in the top order (currently he is opening for Hampshire in the county championship and is at No 3 in the 50-over game). “I did actually chat to Morgs [Eoin Morgan] in Ireland about our approach and whether there are set targets,” he said. “There’s not too much science about it. At the top of the order it’s our job to assess conditions and if we think it’s a good wicket to play with freedom and take the game forward. To be brave.” Those conditions are likely to apply at the Ageas Bowl.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/may/10/jason-roy-england-pakistan-second-one-day-international-cricket

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