LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: Jason Roy of Surrey celebrates his half-century during the NatWest T20 Blast match between Surrey and Sussex Shark at The Kia Oval on August 13, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Jason Roy: Rory Burns “Obviously Deserves” An England Spot

Fans were left disappointed at the Kia Oval when a thunderstorm reduced Surrey’s Vitality Blast match against Somerset to a 10/10 clash. Somerset posted a below par 99/6, with Lewis Gregory hitting a rapid fifty to take his side from 46-5 to a respectable total. However, Surrey’s star-studded opening partnership of Aaron Finch and Jason Roy quickly tore into Somerset’s bowling. Their opening stand was worth 69 runs and came in under four overs. Surrey eventually cruised to a nine wicket win.

After the match, I caught up with Jason Roy and discussed the merits of ten over cricket. Roy was recently signed by the Bengal Tigers to play in the UAE T10 League later this year. Although cynics have criticised the brevity of the format, Roy was full of praise for the format. When asked if it was a sustainable format of cricket, he replied:

“Yep, why not? It’s something they’ve trialed in the UAE and it was something I was involved with then and its pretty exciting… it is good for the crowds, it is hit and out, a lot of sixes and wickets – its good fun.”

The crowd at the Kia Oval certainly enjoyed the spectacle. The attendance was over 20,000 and that was particularly impressive given thunder and lightning delaying play by an hour.

As an opening batsman, you have to have a game plan and certain strategies when it comes to building an innings. I asked Roy if you have to adopt a different mindset when opening in T10 match compared to a T20 match.

“You do have to adapt, you don’t really go down a gear you kind of start by coming in on top gear and have to stay there. You have to keep going, until you need four or five to win then you can start nudging it around a bit, but even then you still keep going. You might as well keep your run rate up.”

Surrey certainly embodied that, as they took an incredible 56 runs from the first three overs. While Roy eventually holed out, his opening partner, Aaron Finch, batted right through the innings. Finch, the number one T20 batsman in the world, ended on 43* off just 21 balls.
Embed from Getty ImagesRoy was full of praise for Finch and revealed how much he enjoyed batting with him.

“He is a class player, he came in with a lot of confidence to the tournament and that has been reflected in his consistency. He’s obviously a world class player,he’s the number one player in the world for a reason”.

Finch and Roy is an electric opening partnership, but it is one that squeezes out Rory Burns from the Surrey T20 side. Burns has had a magnificent season for Surrey, scoring prolifically in the County Championship. Unfortunately, the England selectors overlooked him for the squad for the first Test match against India. Instead, they will be relying on Keaton Jennings to open the batting with Alastair Cook.

It is clear that everyone at Surrey believes he deserved a spot in England’s squad. Roy was clearly disappointed by the selectors’ decision, but gave his full support to the team.

“I mean he [Rory Burns] deserves it, for sure, obviously he deserves it. He’s been cleaning up in the Championship stuff and has been doing extremely well and has not been doing himself any harm. So, it is what it is. Selectors pick their team, which they think is the best team for them going forward and good luck to them. Burnsy I know is really keen to put the colors on, but he’s going to have to wait a little while longer I think”

If Keaton Jennings fails in the first Test against India, starting in just a few days, Rory Burns will no doubt be the player England turn to next.

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