Ashes 2019: Can Jason Roy thrive in the purest format?
A ferocious striker of the cricket ball, Jason Roy is rightly renowned as one of the premier batsmen in the modern era. The flamboyant right-hander boasts a wide repertoire of strokes, possessing the capability to demolish even the greatest of bowling attacks.
Roy amassed 443 runs at a brisk strike rate of 115.36 in the World Cup 2019, laying the foundation upfront for the hosts. And the belligerent opener was deservedly rewarded for his consistent performances in the limited-overs format, with a berth in the Test squad for a lone fixture against Ireland.
Crafting a breezy 72 in the second innings on his Test debut, the batting powerhouse trumpeted his arrival in the longest version of the game in style.
In order to flourish in Test cricket, a batsman is required to display a watertight technique, accompanied by resolute patience and unshakable mental toughness. The ongoing Ashes series will be a grueling test of character for Roy, considering his vulnerability against the moving ball.
Roy failed to impress in his first innings of the opening Test. The dynamic stroke-maker perished cheaply to James Pattinson, caught in the slip cordon after tentatively poking at a delivery pitched in the corridor of uncertainty and moving away.
Here's a look at his dismissal:
It is worthwhile to mention here that Roy has fared well for his county team Surrey, with 4722 runs in 82 first-class matches. He has racked up nine centuries and 23 fifties at a competent average of 38.39, showing that he does have the patience to grind out long knocks when needed.
Several x-factor players from limited overs cricket - the likes of Virender Sehwag, Adam Gilchrist and David Warner - have also achieved success in Test cricket by combining their stroke-playing instincts with a touch of caution. Roy has a tough ask ahead of him, but not an impossible one.
He can take a leaf out of the book of his old school friend Rory Burns, who exhibited commendable perseverance to compile a magnificent hundred (125*) yesterday against a quality Australian bowling unit.
The exuberant Roy does have the potential to thrive in the longer format, and he would be hoping to make good on that. As we go further into the prestigious series, the swashbuckling batsman would look to work on his defensive technique and rectify the loopholes to try and contribute significantly to the team.
Irrespective of the developing emphasis on counter-attacking at the top, Roy needs to churn out his runs grinding the hard way, curbing his natural flair to an extent. It remains to be seen whether he can do that, but he shouldn't be counted out just yet.
Also read – Ashes Winners List