Ashes 2019: Denly set to open for England after confirming Roy switch

By Sports Desk September 02, 2019

Joe Denly has revealed he will open the batting for England in the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford, with Jason Roy moving down to four.

Roy has opened alongside Rory Burns for the first three Tests but has been unable to recapture his stunning Cricket World Cup form, amassing a meagre 57 runs from six innings.

Denly, who made his Test debut as an opener against West Indies earlier in the year, dropped down the order to accommodate Roy's place in the top two for the Ashes.

He has also struggled to mount a big score, though the Kent batsman came up with a valuable half-century at Headingley to help England snatch victory after the hosts were bowled out for 67 in their first innings.

Reports emerged over the weekend suggesting England would switch the top of their order for the Old Trafford Test and Denly said the speculation is accurate.

"I can confirm that, it's all true," Denly told BBC Sport.

"I got a call from Joe Root after a bit of time off and he said he'd like for me to go at the top of the order and try and get us off to a good start.

"Jason's going to bat at four. With Jason Roy in the team, we're a better team, that's for sure.

"With him coming him at four, with hopefully the new ball having worn off and myself and Rory doing our jobs at the top, it enables him to come in and play his way. He's a dangerous player so he's great to have there."

Denly came in with England toiling at 15-2 in their second innings at Headingley but along with captain Root steadied the ship and built a platform for the team's record Test run chase.

His efforts helped set the stage for an incredible final day when Ben Stokes' heroics led England to the unlikeliest of victories with one wicket to spare.

"I don't think that's going to sink in for a while actually. It was a remarkable day, one that will be remembered for ever," Denly said.

"To be honest, the first days are a bit of a blur, including my 50. It's all about the last hour for me.

"But I'm proud, any top-order batsman wants more runs and that was certainly the feeling with me, it would have been nice to go on and get a bigger score but it wasn't to be. 

"Thankfully, we had King Stokes to come in and finish it off."

England batsman Alex Hales, meanwhile, has reasserted his commitment to one-day cricket by signing a two-year white-ball deal with Notts Outlaws.

Hales was left out of England's World Cup squad after he was suspended for what his spokesperson described as an "off-field incident", while he has not been selected for a Test since 2016.

Related items

  • Kohli hails 'great' appointment as Ganguly named BCCI boss Kohli hails 'great' appointment as Ganguly named BCCI boss

    Sourav Ganguly has been named the new president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

    The legendary batsman was elected after a general body meeting on Wednesday.

    Ganguly was India captain from 2000 to 2005 and guided them to the final of the 2003 Cricket World Cup.

    He is sixth on the all-time list of Test run-scorers for India with 7,212, and his 11,363 runs in ODIs rank ninth on the international all-time list.

    "I congratulated him. It's great that he has become BCCI president," said India captain Virat Kohli.

    Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha added: "I hope players will immensely benefit after Dada [Ganguly] takes up the new role.

    "He has represented the country for a long time and then went on to dominate Indian cricket first as a player then captain.

    "He can bring about a lot of improvements as he knows the game inside out. If something is not happening, Dadi can make it happen."

  • Ferguson to return for New Zealand XI against England Ferguson to return for New Zealand XI against England

    Lockie Ferguson will make a timely return from injury for a New Zealand XI in two Twenty20 warm-up matches against England.

    The paceman has been out of action since suffering a fractured thumb training in Sri Lanka last month.

    Ferguson is now fully fit and will face Eoin Morgan's side in a team captained by Colin Munro at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln on Sunday and next Tuesday.

    He said: "The thumb has healed well and I'm looking forward to having a hit-out at Lincoln.

    "While it's obviously frustrating to be sidelined, it's actually been good to take some time to freshen up and be able to return with plenty of motivation and energy.

    "It's the beginning of a really big summer of cricket and it's exciting to be starting it against a quality England side."

    A five-match T20 series between the Black Caps and England starts in Christchurch on November 1.

  • Rugby World Cup 2019: No advantage gained from spying - Mitchell Rugby World Cup 2019: No advantage gained from spying - Mitchell

    John Mitchell wished New Zealand good luck if they want to spy on England ahead of the Rugby World Cup semi-final but says it would not give them an advantage.

    England head coach Eddie Jones claimed someone was spotted filming England's training session on Tuesday.

    Jones said it may have been a Japanese fan seen in an apartment overlooking the pitch, but admitted he used to spy on opponents.

    Defence coach Mitchell does not believe the All Blacks would gain anything from seeing how England were preparing for a titanic battle in Yokohama City on Saturday.

    "If that is what they want to do, and that is the way they want to prepare, good luck to them," the New Zealander said.

    He added: "We just happened to be training where there are apartments above our tiny two-metre fence, so I am not sure about what the use of the tarpaulins are.

    "The facilities have been excellent but it's an area where people live and there is the odd red light around. There was one up in the corner, which was a bit suspicious.

    "It doesn't really worry me. This game is so dynamic now so I don't see any advantage in spying on a team."

    Mitchell revealed spying is not uncommon at the highest level of rugby.

    "When I took over the All Blacks in 2001 we had a manager who was highly military and he loved surveying the whole area," he said.

    "To me, you can get too involved in it and create an anxiety in your group. There is enough pressure at this level without chasing around some blokes that might be in a building with a camera.

    "I was with Sir Clive Woodward when we were going for a Grand Slam against Scotland and we chased somebody from one of the papers around the corner and caught him in a hedge.

    "He was pretty unlucky actually but that was when the game was a lot different to what it is now. I've seen coaches spy, I've had other coaches spy. I've had mates spy as well, but I don't see any advantage."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.