Though comfortable is not what someone feels walking in to open the innings in Test match cricket for the first time. But Jason Roy, opening the innings for the first time, on a stage as big as The Ashes, will walk out with one of his closest acquaintances.
When it is England’s turn to bat in The Ashes, Jason Roy will be walking with someone who has walked with him since he was 10, although not in an England jersey. Walking out for the first time can never feel more comfortable.
Rory Burns, a childhood friend of Jason Roy is also Roy’s teammate and captain in county cricket.
“It’s going to be good fun, it’s going to be exciting,” said Burns speaking to The Guardian. “I’ve known Jase since he was 10 so to stride out in a Test match with him is a pretty cool feeling. It’ll be an exciting time.
“That was East Surrey district cricket [when we first met] and then Surrey up all through the age groups. Bleach blond hair and a massive head is how I remember him and quite an aggressive stroke player. He hasn’t changed much since.”
Rory Burns was full of praise for his counterpart saying that he was a wonderful player and the adjustment from limited overs cricket to Test match cricket shouldn’t be a problem for him.
“He probably has to tame it slightly,” Burns said. “But if Jase goes out and plays the way he does and makes good decisions, we’ve seen, particularly over the last year and a half to two years, what a wonderful player he is. So I don’t think there’s any reason why he doesn’t translate his white-ball form to his red-ball form.”
Despite their long history together on and off the field, Burns admits he cannot remember ever opening with Roy. “In our school days we might have opened the batting but I think very fleetingly,” he says.
Although Jason Roy has mostly played limited overs cricket during his career, he is no stranger to the longer format. He has nine first class hundreds playing for Surrey, but in the middle-order.
It will be a test for him opening the innings. A test which he will pass according to Australia‘s ODI captain, Aaron Finch.
Finch, who plays alongside Jason Roy for Surrey said, “He definitely goes hard having played with him for a few years now for Surrey. He’s a player that when he’s on he can be so damaging to an opposition and in such quick time as well. So not sure what the wickets are going to be like in the Ashes series. I think the first Test is here, is that right? So, it will be interesting to see how that plays out.
“But he’s got some really good hundreds in county cricket, probably more so in the middle-order. That is just one of those things that if he gets going on his day, he can be brutal and he can score so quick in all forms of the game, he is a very dangerous threat no doubt.”