Roy set for Test debut as England take on Ireland
London: England opener Jason Roy will make his Test debut along with bowler Olly Stone against Ireland in their first-ever encounter in red-ball cricket at Lord's on Wednesday.
The 29-year-old World Cup-winner has faced the red ball before, whilst playing as a middle-order batsman for county champions Surrey. He has nine first-class hundreds to his name.
Roy has been included into the Test setup just before the Ashes series begin from August 1, and right after scoring 443 runs as an opener in England's victorious World Cup campaign on home soil. Now, he will be walking out onto the pitch for his debut Test innings with his childhood friend turned Surrey captain, Roy Burns.
"You'd be hard-pushed to find a more naturally talented batsman than Jason. Over the last couple of years, you've seen him rein it in, understand his game a bit more and sort of piece it all together. Hopefully, he can keep on doing that and he can translate his white-ball form into red ball," said Burns.
Joe Root will lead the England team, instead of their Dublin-born captain, Eoin Morgan, who no longer plays Test cricket. Resting the likes of all-rounder Ben Stokes, pacers Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and batsman Jos Buttler, England have looked towards Somerset's Lewis Gregory and Warwickshire's Olly Stone.
Meanwhile, England's all-time leading wicket-taker James Anderson will miss the one-off Test against Ireland as he continues to recover from a calf injury.
"He (Anderson) will continue to be assessed ahead of the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston on August 1," the ECB said in a statement.
After making their Test debut against Pakistan last year, Ireland will undoubtedly look to spoil the broth for Jason Roy as Gary Wilson stressed the importance of putting in a good performance at 'the home of cricket'.
"In my generation, I don't think any of us expected to be playing a Test match at Lord's, so to have the opportunity is great. But we mustn't lose sight of the fact that we have to come here and perform as well. I mean that's what it is about, it's not just turning up and having all the fanfare around Lord's," said Ireland wicketkeeper Gary Wilson.
The match will only last a maximum of four days rather than the standard five, as the officials wanted to experiment with "spectator friendly" playing hours.