Joe Root admitted Jason Roy “might be better suited at four” as England look to remedy their top-order woes with another batting rejig for the fourth Ashes Test.
Joe Denly had already confirmed he will be promoted to open at Old Trafford this week, while the more aggressive Roy will come in at four in the second change to England’s top order in the space of four Tests.
Roy, an ODI star in the Cricket World Cup triumph earlier this year, has averaged just 9.50 in the three Ashes Tests in which he has opened and so Denly, who originally shifted from three to four before the series started, will now face the new ball alongside Rory Burns.
It is a move which England’s number three Root hopes can bring out the best of Roy in the longest format.
“Openers have struggled in English conditions,” the England captain said at a news conference.
“It’s not just us, you look at other sides that have come over and the openers have not performed.
60 – Before this year (v West Indies & Hampshire) Joe Denly hadn’t opened the batting in a First Class match since 2015, the last time he did so at Old Trafford was also in 2015, scoring 28 in the first innings and 60 in the second innings v Lancashire. Switch. pic.twitter.com/zp3OF5ANre
— OptaJim (@OptaJim) September 2, 2019
“Jason is a high-quality player, we all know that, but he might be better suited at four. Joe has played good cricket all summer, he’s got himself in and looked very good in the second innings [at Headingley], so hopefully he can go and get us off to a good start with Rory.
“We think [Roy] might be suited to the middle order, having seen the evidence over the last three games, so it’s a great opportunity for him to make the position his own.
“We’ve all seen what he can do in international cricket when he gets himself in, hopefully batting a little lower down allows us to do that.”
Somerset seamer Craig Overton will replace Chris Woakes for the fourth Test in the only change for England, who levelled the five-match series at 1-1 with a thrilling one-wicket win at Headingley last time out.