BENGALURU: Opening batsman Jason Roy and fast bowler Olly Stone will make their England test debuts in a one-off match against Ireland starting at Lord’s on Wednesday.
Surrey batsman Roy becomes the latest player to have a crack at England’s problem position of opener in the longest format, having racked up an impressive 443 runs in his country’s triumphant 50-overs World Cup campaign.
Roy is poised to bat at the top of the order with Surrey teammate Rory Burns in a four-day match against Ireland and will have an opportunity to impress the selectors ahead of the Ashes series against Australia starting on August 1.
“With Jason, we want him to be himself, express himself and trust his instincts as much as possible,” England captain Joe Root told a news conference on Tuesday.
“He brings something different to our Test batting side, he’s a proven performer in international cricket and fully capable of making big contributions.
“There were occasions in the World Cup when he had to trust his defence and he might have to draw that out a bit longer in Test cricket – but he can put pressure back on the opposition, he’s one of the best in the world at that.”
Warwickshire paceman Stone will make his debut having recovered from a back injury that forced him to return home from England’s tour of West Indies earlier this year.
The 25-year-old edged out Somerset’s Lewis Gregory in the battle to deputise for the experienced James Anderson, who failed to recover from a calf injury.
Jack Leach has also been called up for the Ireland test giving England the option of two spinners in the lineup with Moeen Ali also named in the team.
“Olly’s got a good pace, that’s one thing he brings to this squad, and it’s a good opportunity to see him play this week,” Root added.
“Lewis is the unfortunate one to miss out, along with Jimmy, (but) it gives us good balance and plenty of options with the ball.”
Anderson, England’s leading wicket-taker in tests, is one of several England bowlers struggling with injury ahead of the five-test Ashes series against Australia.
Fast bowlers Mark Wood and Jofra Archer, part of the World Cup-winning one-day team, were not available for selection for the Ireland test because both have suffered side strains.
Wood has been ruled out for four to six weeks, while Archer will have a period of rest before being considered for Ashes selection.
Having been awarded test status in 2017, Ireland are chasing their first win in the longest format after losses to Pakistan and Afghanistan.