Jason Roy has not changed despite his struggles so far in Test cricket, according to England team-mate Rory Burns.
Surrey batsman Roy – such a key cog in the England side that won the Cricket World Cup on home soil earlier this year – has found runs hard to come by during the Ashes series against Australia.
The right-hander managed just 57 runs in six innings at the top of the order and, due to his issues against the new ball, was moved into the middle order for the fourth Test at Old Trafford, swapping positions with Joe Denly.
However, the switch failed to yield immediate results on Friday, with Roy bowled by Josh Hazlewood for 22 as the hosts finished day three on 200-5, still some way shy of Australia’s first-innings total of 497-8 declared.
Burns, who battled hard to make 81 on an attritional day, was quick to back his county colleague after play, insisting Roy can build on his latest knock after failing to get into double figures in the previous two Tests.
“I think he’s alright. He’s still the same old Jason, which is what you like to see,” Burns told the media.
“He hasn’t changed too much in terms of how he is off the park, so I think that’s a good thing.
“Obviously he’d have liked to score today, he got a good start but it’s one to build on.”
— ICC (@ICC) September 6, 2019
Joe Root made 71 as he shared a third-wicket stand worth 141 with Burns, though the dismissal of both late in proceedings – along with Roy – means Australia remain on top with two days remaining.
“We’ve obviously got some work to do but it’s pretty clear what we need to do,” Burns said of the match situation.
“We’ve got some batters left in the hutch. What are we, 100 runs behind it? I think. That’s a couple of good partnerships and we’re up close to them, then we’re asking them to make a play.
“We’ve got to look at it from a positive aspect and see where we can get to.”
If Australia win in Manchester, they will retain the Ashes with a Test to spare. The five-match series concludes at the Oval.