Roy and Stone handed England Test debuts against Ireland

By Sports Desk July 23, 2019

Jason Roy and Olly Stone will make their Test debuts when England host Ireland at Lord's on Wednesday, captain Joe Root has confirmed.

Roy becomes the latest player to try his hand in the problem position of opener for England in the longest format, having shown blistering form at the top of the order during his country's triumphant Cricket World Cup campaign.

The 29-year-old boasts nine ODI hundreds and 18 half-centuries and will open alongside Surrey team-mate Rory Burns, with Kent's Joe Denly slated to come in at three ahead of skipper Root.

"I think with Jason I just want him to go and be himself out there and trust his instincts as much as possible," Root said at a news conference on Tuesday.

"He's got very good instincts, he reads the game very well and he brings something different to our Test batting side for sure.

"He's a proven performer in international cricket so he's fully capable of making big contributions at the top of the order. I hope he doesn't try and play differently."

A sweltering weather forecast for the one-off Test has contributed to the decision to field two spinners, with Somerset left-armer Jack Leach slotting in alongside all-rounder Moeen Ali.

Leach's county colleague Lewis Gregory misses out, with paceman Stone getting the nod having recovered from the back injury that forced him out of England's tour of the Caribbean earlier this year.

Side injuries sustained by Mark Wood and Jofra Archer could combine to create an Ashes opening for Stone, with the five-match series against arch-rivals Australia beginning at Edgbaston next week.

"I think he's got good pace, that's one thing that he brings to this group and this squad – an extra bit of pace, something different to turn to," Root said of the 25-year-old.

England team:

Jason Roy, Rory Burns, Joe Denly, Joe Root (captain), Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, Olly Stone

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