Prior to the ongoing Ashes, the eyes were on Jason Roy, who made his Test debut versus Ireland at the Lord’s Cricket Ground. He was having a great run in the limited-overs formats and his incredible form earned him a Test call-up. The Durban-born got a sparkling 72 in the second innings of his debut. However, he has been absolutely shambolic in the high-voltage series against Australia.
In three matches, the right-hander has managed only 57 runs at an average of 9.50. In fact, in the last two Tests at the Lord’s and Headingley, he wasn’t even able to cross the double-digit mark. Despite his constant failures, the management has persisted with him and picked him for the fourth and penultimate Test at Old Trafford in Manchester. The match starts on Wednesday, September 4.
Ahead of the next encounter, it has been learned that Roy may be demoted to number four in the lineup. As an opener, the 29-year-old Roy averages a mere 8.85 and his half-century against Ireland came while batting at number three. In the meantime, it’s also been known that Joe Denly is set to open the batting in the fourth Test along with Rory Burns as per a report in ESPNcricinfo.
Denly has opened the batting in first-class cricket only three times- two of which came on his Test debut against the West Indies earlier this year. Promoting Denly up the order can be a tad risky as he has only one century in a Division Two Championship match against Gloucestershire in 2015 – in the last eight years. He hasn’t been able to get a half-century even once in his last 14 attempts.
Ashes 2019 hanging by a thread
As far as the series is concerned, it’s currently level at 1-1. There was a golden opportunity for Tim Paine’s Aussies to take a 2-0 lead in Leeds and also retain the prestigious trophy. However, Ben Stokes pulled off a spectacular century in the fourth innings to pull the Three Lions out of the pits.
He set up an unreal partnership with Jack Leach. Going into the next match, the visiting team is most likely to include Steve Smith, who missed the third Test due to concussion. If Smith comes in then it remains to be seen who gets benched as Marnus Labuschagne has scored three fifties on the trot.
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