England v Ireland: Jason Roy expectation a worry for Mark Ramprakash

Jason Roy
Roy scored 443 runs as an opener in England's triumphant World Cup campaign,
England v Ireland, one-off Test
Venue: Lord's Dates: 24-27 July Time: 11:00 BST
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW, online, tablets, mobiles and BBC Sport app. Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

The expectation on World Cup-winning opening batsman Jason Roy as he prepares to make his Test debut against Ireland is a concern, says former England batting coach Mark Ramprakash

Roy is not a regular top-order batsman in red-ball cricket but is in the England squad after his starring role in the one-day international side.

"My worry would be expectation of the public," said Ramprakash.

"If we go too hard that would be a little unfair on Jason."

However, speaking on the Tuffers and Vaughan Cricket Show, former England women's batter Ebony Rainford-Brent said: "He thrives under the pressure.

"He soaks it up, he loves the limelight and desperately wants this Test opportunity. I know there is pressure but there was huge pressure to win a World Cup at home and he helped that happen."

England lack top-order options - Ramprakash

Should he play at Lord's, Roy is likely to open the batting with Surrey team-mate Rory Burns against Ireland as England try to solve their struggles to find a solid pair at the top of the batting order.

The 29-year-old played just two first-class matches for Surrey last season and has opened only a handful of times for the county, often in a run-chase.

He has taken the place of Keaton Jennings, who opened for England during the winter but averages 25.19 from 17 Tests.

"I don't think England have a lot of options," said Ramprakash, who was also speaking on the Tuffers and Vaughan Cricket Show.

"I have sympathy for the selectors because there haven't been many people scoring very heavily in county cricket.

"Jason has a really exciting challenge in front of him and that is to retain his aggressive intent and the way he wants to play.

"He plays like that in four-day cricket and he has made runs in recent years in the little four-day cricket he has played.

"What he has done really well when he has made those runs is be clinical in his execution of his attacking shots, but he has got a decent defence as well.

"I think he is the outstanding candidate - I wish there were a few more putting pressure on to say 'pick me' for those top-order places because it has been an area where we have struggled."

Roy, who averages 38.38 in first-class cricket and has scored nine centuries from 81 matches, has also been backed to succeed by England team-mate Mark Wood.

"Everyone talks about being positive - but being positive could be leaving well, defending well, and his body language is brilliant at the crease," said seam bowler Wood.

"Another positive is that he is opening with Rory Burns. They are really close friends, so to have that bond with your opening partner as you go out must be a positive."

Is the Anderson and Broad partnership in its final months?

The match against Ireland will be England's first red-ball match of the home summer, before the Ashes series against Australia begins on 1 August.

England's leading Test wicket-taker James Anderson, 36, has been ruled out of the match because of a calf injury.

Ramprakash says Anderson and fellow opening bowler Stuart Broad, 33, are "under threat" longer term but warned against writing them off.

"Jimmy's got to get fit and at 36 things can take a bit longer, so this calf injury has come along at an awkward time," said Ramprakash.

"You've got to be very careful to write Broad off because he loves the big stage as well with a wonderful track record over many years.

"In an Ashes series, I'm sure England will want their experienced heads around them to start the series."

Fast bowlers Wood and Jofra Archer were not considered for selection against Ireland because both have side strains, meaning Somerset all-rounder Lewis Gregory and seamer Olly Stone are in contention.


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