AFP/Leeds, United Kingdom
England batsman Jason Roy has passed a concussion test after being hit in the nets ahead of the third Ashes Test against Australia at Headingley.
The 29-year-old opener was struck by a throw-down from ex-England international Marcus Trescothick, working with the team in a temporary coaching capacity, during practice on Tuesday.
Roy was assessed after taking the blow and was able to continue batting. But he also required a follow-up check on the eve of the match on Wednesday to determine any delayed symptoms.
Roy, 29, will be assessed again before the third Test starts today.
Meanwhile Ollie Pope, a Surrey team-mate of Roy’s, has been placed on standby.
The 21-year-old Pope, who has played two Tests, is now on his way to Leeds.
But England captain Joe Root said he expected Roy to play, telling reporters at Headingley yesterday: “Jason’s been monitored quite closely as you’d expect.
“He’s undergone a couple of concussion tests so far and scored really well. So as it stands, I fully expect him to be fit and ready to go tomorrow.”
Roy averages just 10 in four innings this series, having only made his Test debut earlier this season after starring at the top of the order in England’s victorious World Cup winning campaign.
England coach Trevor Bayliss said Roy may be more suited to the middle-order in Test cricket but Root insisted he could be a success as an opening batsman.
“I obviously think he should open, otherwise he’ll be batting at four,” said Root.
“I think there’s a lot of talk about the batting order because of the variety of options we have.
“At no stage are we trying to reinvent the wheel.
“But we’ve got to play to our strengths and be quite flexible over the course of the series. But I feel Jason can have a real big impact at the start of an innings.
“It might not have happened just yet but we fully expect him to go out and do that.”
Meanwhile Australia captain Tim Paine, whose Ashes-holders are 1-0 up in the five-match series, said his side were not taking Roy lightly.
“Opening the batting in Test cricket in England is difficult,” he said. “I know our guys are struggling a little bit as well to get the runs they would like. It’s international cricket, it’s tough,” the wicketkeeper added.
“We’ve seen Jason Roy play amazing innings in one-day cricket, we’ve seen David Warner do the same thing in the early days of his career, and sometimes it takes a little bit of time to get used to Test cricket and the differences in that.
“We’ve seen that Jason is a highly-skilled batsman and on his day he can take a game away from you so at no point do we think or treat him like we’ve got the wood over him.”
Australia’s star batsman Steve Smith has already been ruled out of the match with concussion suffered when he was hit by a Jofra Archer bouncer in the drawn second Test at Lord’s.
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