Roy allays fears over injury

Jason Roy anticipates no major problems from his thumb injury

Jason Roy anticipates no major problems from his thumb injury

First published in Sport © by

Jason Roy endured several hours of drama he and the selectors could have done without, retiring hurt after taking a blow to his thumb on the day he was named in an England squad for the first time.

The uncapped batsman, one of four players not currently involved in the Royal London Series but drafted in for a one-off NatWest Twenty20 International against India, was promptly hit on his right hand playing for Surrey against New Zealand A at The Oval.

X-rays later showed the blow, from seamer Hamish Bennett, had left him badly bruised but with no break - and at close of play, Roy confirmed in an interview with Surrey that he expects to be fully recovered long before England face India at Edgbaston next Sunday.

His unscripted trip to hospital came only hours after England also learned that Tim Bresnan, back in the reckoning for his country for the first time in five months, was missing from the Roses match at Old Trafford as Yorkshire take no chances with his pectoral injury.

Bresnan is not thought to be badly injured, however - and neither thankfully is Roy, who explained he too simply decided to leave nothing to chance with a possible international debut so close.

"I tried to bat on for a bit, but then got a bit worried about it," said the 24-year-old.

"So I went for an x-ray to make sure I got peace of mind.

"It should be absolutely fine in a couple of days. A bit of ice (treatment) and rest, and it should be sweet."

Durban-born Roy gets the call after a breakthrough domestic season, in which he is the top NatWest T20 Blast run-scorer with 677 at an average of 48.35 and strike rate of almost 160.

They were statistics England could hardly ignore and Roy added: "This is is a huge opportunity for me.

"It's a dream of mine since I was a pup. I hope I can get a few runs and win a game for them."

Roy and Bresnan were named in a 14-man squad also containing Ravi Bopara, a surprise omission from the ODI squad, and Nottinghamshire batsman James Taylor.

Eoin Morgan is again captain, as he was for England's Twenty20 against Sri Lanka earlier this summer, in the injury-enforced absence of Stuart Broad - who is set to undergo surgery on his knee this week.

Michael Carberry and Ian Bell, both involved in the defeat against Sri Lanka at The Oval in May, have made way for Roy and Taylor.

The latter has not featured for his country since last September's ODI win over Ireland in Dublin but has had a fine season for Nottinghamshire, while former dual Ashes-winner Bresnan last played in England's embarrassing ICC World Twenty20 defeat against Holland in Chittagong.

National selector James Whitaker said: "This one-off NatWest International Twenty20 provides us with an opportunity to look at players who have impressed recently in domestic cricket and gives them a chance to test themselves on the international stage against high-quality opposition."

Taylor's availability depends on the conclusion next Saturday, without need for a reserve day, of Notts Outlaws' Royal London Cup semi-final against Durham at Chester-le-Street.

Before then, England have more pressing issues to address after their second successive ODI trouncing by India at Trent Bridge on Saturday.

The six-wicket setback, inflicted with seven overs to spare after England again failed to cope with the travelling spinners, leaves the hosts 2-0 down and unable therefore to win the five-match series after an initial washout in Bristol.

Captain Alastair Cook has been under pressure already from those, including former team-mates Graeme Swann and Michael Vaughan in their post-retirement roles as pundits, who believe he is not the right man to lead England to the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand early next year.

While Roy, Taylor and Bopara may have the opportunity next Sunday to demonstrate they can provide fresh impetus in England's middle order and therefore even steal into the World Cup, Cook cannot star-gaze about what will happen next February and March but must concentrate on putting things right in this week's two remaining ODIs at Edgbaston and Headingley.

"When you play for England, you're under pressure to perform," he said.

"You keep looking six months, seven months away ... (but) we're very clear in the dressing room that we're trying to win the next game.

"You can turn it around very quickly, but it starts with individual responsibility."

Cook himself has gone 37 ODI innings, and more than two years, without a century - and collectively, England have made just four against Test opposition in 26 matches on their way to defeat in four of their last five series since the start of last summer.

The captain knows that must change, but is optimistic.

"It will take someone to score that hundred and everyone will jump on the back of that," he said.

"You get 330 and you win a game of cricket and it changes.

"The only way [to put it right] is not looking at anyone else, but the six or seven batters to turn it round themselves."

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