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Burns Backs His Old Schoolfriend Roy to Come Good in Test Cricket

Cricketnext Staff |July 23, 2019, 12:34 AM IST
Burns Backs His Old Schoolfriend Roy to Come Good in Test Cricket

England opener Rory Burns believes his Surrey teammate Jason Roy has all the ingredients to succeed in red-ball cricket after the 29-year-old was named in the 13-man squad for the one-off Test against Ireland that starts on Wednesday (July 22) at Lord's.

Roy was in outstanding form during the 2019 World Cup and has now earned a call up to the Test squad for the first time.

"I don't see any reason why not," Burns said when asked if Roy can replicate his ODI feats. "In the last year or two he has really matured as a player and he will probably get to leave a couple of balls now, which will be nice for him. I think he will.

“It’s going to be good fun, it’s going to be exciting. I’ve known Jase since he was 10 so to stride out in a Test match with him is a pretty cool feeling. It’ll be an exciting time.

“That was East Surrey district cricket [when we first met] and then Surrey up all through the age groups. Bleach blond hair and a massive head is how I remember him and quite an aggressive stroke player. He hasn’t changed much since.”

Roy averages over 38 in 81 first-class encounters but has mostly batted in the middle order for his county team. Burns however feels Roy will be able to adjust quickly considering he has been opening for England in limited-overs cricket for quite a while now.

"In recent times he's batted at 3. I think it will translate. I think for Jason it'll be a mindset thing, he's played a lot of white-ball cricket which is see the ball hit the ball. This'll be about leaving a couple, assessing things. He's a fine player and I'm sure we'll see that."

Burns himself has only played six Tests so far and averages only 25 with two half centuries to his name. The left-hander knows that this four-day Test against Ireland will serve as a platform for him to push his case for a spot in the Ashes squad.

"Potentially, yeah. It's one Test before the Ashes gets going so hopefully can cash in, there's a chance to score runs here. Back yourself and gameplan and see where you get to.

"It will be a big match. Wherever the Irish go in sport they bring a good following and a good team. I've played against a lot of these guys in county cricket and I've got a couple of friends in the opposition as well, so hopefully it goes well."

It's just been over a week since England beat New Zealand in a nail-biting finale at Lord's and the celebrations are still on. Burns however feels all the players involved will soon reset and start focusing on the task ahead.

"Of the 16 at the camp, eight were in the World Cup squad and eight weren't. There are guys for whom it's the start of the international summer, and others who are riding that high. Hopefully the ones riding high can reset and the others can get really among it."

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