Ashes 2019: Australia’s Josh Hazlewood questions Jason Roy’s credentials ahead of first Test

The Surrey batsmen is still unproven in test matches despite his heroics in this summer’s World Cup victory

Rory Dollard
Sunday 28 July 2019 18:36
The Ashes in Numbers

Australia paceman Josh Hazlewood has cranked up the pressure on Jason Roy ahead of the Ashes, reminding the England batsman about the perils of transferring his one-day mindset to the Test arena.

Roy’s credentials in white-ball cricket are unquestioned, with his fearless, aggressive style crucial in his side’s triumphant World Cup campaign but his ability to repeat that success in the five-day format is not yet certain.

England selectors were clearly cautious, picking the 29-year-old for 84 ODIs before sending him out in whites for the first time against Ireland last week.

Debuting as an opener, he made just five in the first innings – and could have been out three times – before striking 72 from number three in the second, nightwatchman Jack Leach having seen off the new ball.

Hazlewood is one of the touring seamers lining up for the chance to examine Roy’s technique, starting at Edgbaston on Thursday, and believes Australia one-day captain Aaron Finch’s experiences should provide a warning to Roy.

Finch is a limited-overs star at the top of the order but was dropped from the longer format last year after making just 278 runs in 10 innings.

“We’ll see how Roy goes in Test cricket. He’s has only played one Test match and it’s a lot different opening the batting in a Test than a one-day game, that’s for sure,” said Hazlewood.

“In England, opening is probably the toughest place to bat which probably made Alastair Cook’s record all the better. To play attacking cricket in those conditions is tough.

“Aaron Finch found it tough last summer against a quality India attack on wickets that didn’t do too much to be honest. I think he found it a big step up to be honest. He found the ball swung and seamed around and the wickets were a lot different to a one-day wicket.

The Australian fast-bowler has stoked rivalry ahead of the first Test

“He’d played a lot of his four-day cricket at five or six and I think Roy is the same at Surrey. It’s hard to bat five at a level below and then open in Test cricket. We’ll see.”

Asked if he had a plan in place should he come head-to-head with Roy, Hazlewood was emphatic: “Oh for sure. I think just stick to the basics of Test cricket.”

Hazlewood watched with interest as Ireland dismissed England for just 85 in the first innings at Lord’s in a nervy victory for the hosts, but is aware that the total can increase just as frantically as the wickets column where Joe Root’s side are concerned.

“Yeah, I watched a little bit of the Ireland game. I always love seeing wickets instead of runs,” he said.

“They do play a few shots, yeah. Things can move pretty quickly one way or the other. If you’re not on your game the runs can pile on and vice-versa – if you’re on you can take a few wickets and put them under pressure.”


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