'I honestly don't think he's a Test match opening batsman'
Ricky Ponting, along with former England skippers, casts doubt over Jason Roy's future as a Test opener after taking series tally to 49 runs at 9.8
Sam Ferris at Headingley, Leeds
24 August 2019, 12:02 AM AEST
Jason Roy's lean Ashes series continued Friday with another low score to have former Australia captain Ricky Ponting convinced he is not up to the task of opening the batting in Test match cricket.
Roy fell for nine in England's disastrous first innings of 67, caught at first slip by David Warner after driving and edging a full delivery from paceman Josh Hazlewood.
Roy has been a dominant force opening the batting in England's World Cup-winning one-day side but has struggled to transfer that form into the five-day game since making his debut against Ireland last month.
In five Ashes innings to date, Roy has scored 49 runs at an average of 9.8, and after the latest failure Ponting says the right-hander is out of his depth.
"I honestly don't think he's a Test match opening batsman," Ponting said on Sky Sports when asked about Roy.
"I think he's a white-ball opening batsman and the shot we saw him get out to today is a shot of a white-ball opening batsman.
"Saying that, David Warner wasn't (a Test opener) either, but he's been able to build a really solid defensive game around all the shots that he had.
"So, the next progression for Jason is going to be put those shots away early on, work out a defensive game where he can get through the tough times and actually earn the right to bat when it's a little bit easier, when the ball is not brand new.
"But if he keeps playing that way in Test cricket, especially in these conditions here in England, he's going to have more failures than success, I think."
Former England captain Nasser Hussain says Roy is still in white-ball mode after today's reckless drive.
"I'm sorry, as an opener in England against the Dukes ball you have to play for your off stump and Jason Roy, if anything, had the mentality of 'I'm going to get some before you get me'," Hussain said on Sky Sports.
"If anything, he went even harder at the ball."
Michael Vaughan, England's 2005 Ashes-winning skipper, says modern batsmen who are required to hit good balls to all parts of the ground in white-ball cricket can often find it difficult re-learning how to defend or leave those same deliveries in the longer format.
But Vaughan says the likes of Roy must adapt and stick to the basics in Tests.
"(Roy) has got too many clubs in the bag. He needs to play pitch and putt," Vaughan said on BBC Radio.
In his five innings against Australia, Roy has been caught behind the wicket three times, caught and bowled from a leading edge to fast bowler Pat Cummins and was bowled after charging Nathan Lyon and missing an ugly slog in the second innings at Edgbaston.
It's his shaky form against Australia's high-octane new-ball pace attack has ultimately seen his position in the side come under fire.
While England coach Trevor Bayliss believes Roy is in the top seven batters available, he has previously said the Surrey product's best spot is in the middle order where he has played a majority of his first-class cricket.
Hussain says Roy's position in the order could lead to friction between England's selection panel and the captain and coach.
"England's coach Trevor Bayliss, he himself said 'I think Jason is more suited to the middle order'," Hussain said.
"So there is a clash building between the selectors and the coach and probably Joe Root himself.
"Joe Root at No.3 must be getting a little bit annoyed at strolling out after a couple of overs every time with your opener flashing outside off stump."
2019 Qantas Ashes Tour of England
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.
England squad: Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes (vc), Chris Woakes.
First Test: Australia beat England by 251 runs at Edgbaston
Second Test: Match drawn at Lord's
Third Test: August 22-26, Headingley
Tour match: Australians v Derbyshire, August 29-31
Fourth Test: September 4-8, Old Trafford
Fifth Test: September 12-16, The Oval