English skipper Joe Root is confident that Jason Roy, who has been left out of the fifth Test at The Oval, will work hard and make his way back into the Test team. Roy has thus far had a horrendous run in Tests, having scored just a solitary fifty from 10 innings, while averaging just under 19.
The Virender Sehwags and the David Warners in this world are few and far between and by now, England would have realized the same, as their experiment to open the batting in Tests with an explosive ODI batsman failed to a large extent. Jason Roy, who was drafted into the Ashes squad purely based on his limited-overs' form, averaged a dismal 13.75 in eight innings in this Ashes. After having failed as an opener in the first three Tests, Roy was moved to the middle-order in the fourth, but again, to no avail.
But despite the 29-year-old being left out of the fifth and final Test, skipper Joe Root believes that the Surrey man will fix his flaws, fightback and make his way back into the Test team in no time. Root also said that England had to take the decision to axe Roy to keep the balance of the side intact, as Stokes' shoulder injury means that he won't be able to contribute with the ball.
"It's always tough to leave guys out, but Stokesy suffered a shoulder injury in the last game and won't be able to bowl the overs you'd normally expect him to, and with that we've had to change the balance of the side. Jason's the unfortunate one to miss out. He's had an opportunity to come in and play Test cricket, get a feel for it," Root said in the pre-match press conference, reported Times of India.
"It's not quite gone how he would have liked but I’m sure he’ll go away, work extremely hard and come again and that’s what you'd expect of guys when they get left out. I'm sure he'll have that attitude, want to prove a point and get himself back into the side," he added.
Root also revealed that he had an honest conversation with the out-of-favour opener regarding his axing and that Roy also understands all the implications.
"Yes (I spoke to him). When you leave someone out you obviously have those conversations, and he’s very aware of where he's at and what he needs to do to get himself to the best place to perform in Test cricket," Root said.
Despite losing out on the urn, the English side will still have the chance to square the series at The Oval and with World Test Championship points also on the line, Root firmly believes that his men will be itching to get on the field and prove a point. He also said that England can start afresh by winning the Oval Test and carry his momentum forward heading into the winter season.
"[It was] bitterly disappointing to not have got the Ashes back, but we haven't lost anything yet, we've got to make sure we square the series up and there's Test Championship points to play for as well which could make a huge difference. There's plenty to play for, the guys are very aware of that and determined to make sure we make the series 2-2.
"In terms of my own captaincy, I know the direction I want to take this team in and it's about starting that now, not after this series. We need to use this as a stepping stone, win this game, have a really strong winter and move forward as a group."
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