sport news Jason Roy targeting top of the order Ashes spot for England

The Ashes do not start for four months, but Jason Roy would be lying if he said he didn't have an eye on the Test team's troubled top order.

Roy has become a gimme as England's white-ball opener, and next month embarks on a five-match one-day series against Pakistan that precedes the World Cup. 

But the domestic season has begun with red-ball cricket – and the selectors' search for a convincing Test top three has assumed holy-grail proportions. Roy may yet answer their prayers.

Jason Roy would be lying if he said he didn't have an eye on the Test team's troubled top order

Jason Roy would be lying if he said he didn't have an eye on the Test team's troubled top order

Roy has become a gimme as England's white-ball opener ahead of the World Cup

Roy has become a gimme as England's white-ball opener ahead of the World Cup

If he has played little first-class cricket of late, then so had Jos Buttler when he was summoned from white-ball exclusivity last year. Since then, no one has scored more Test runs for England than his 938.

It also felt significant that Roy batted at No 3 for the Lions against Pakistan A in Abu Dhabi in November, making 59 and 14. 

Perhaps most importantly, a one-day international average of 38, with a strike-rate of 105, suggests he knows how to tackle the world's best new-ball bowlers.

Put it this way: who would Australia's bowlers least like to come up against at Edgbaston on August 1 – Keaton Jennings or Jason Roy?

'I think my technique has shown to be pretty good against fast bowling early on,' he said. 

'I've progressed a lot in my career in the last two years. Test cricket is the great unknown. But, if given the opportunity, let's hope I can succeed.

Roy may not bat higher than No 4 for Surrey - hardly ideal preparation to face Australia

Roy may not bat higher than No 4 for Surrey - hardly ideal preparation to face Australia

Roy played only red-ball innings in 2018, including a punishing three-hour 128 against Essex

Roy played only red-ball innings in 2018, including a punishing three-hour 128 against Essex

TEST OPTIONS 

Jason Roy

Pros: Strikes the ball as cleanly as anyone in England, and is battle-hardened after 73 ODIs and 32 T20 internationals

Cons: Is yet to undergo a thorough examination of his technique, with Test-match fields in place.

Rory Burns

Pros: Often looked the part during a difficult debut winter in Sri Lanka and West Indies, and has racked up 1,000 runs for Surrey in each of the last five season.

Cons: Kept finding strange ways of getting out in his first six Tests, and needs to improve his early average of 25.

Keaton Jennings

Pros: He's a good team man, has thrived under the helmet at short leg, and has two Test centuries under his belt.

Cons: A Test average of 25 gets even worse when you consider his record in England: 319 runs at 17, with a best of 48 from 18 innings.

Joe Denly

Pros: Made an accomplished 69 from No 3 in St Lucia in February,

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