Jason Roy, the England hard-hitter, has been off-colour recently    Getty Images
Jason Roy, the England hard-hitter, has been off-colour recently Getty Images

Jason Roy received fresh re-assurance Thursday about his place in England‘s team at the Champions Trophy, with the Surrey opener urged to stay true to his attacking game by assistant coach Paul Farbrace despite a recent run of low scores. Before the One-Day International (ODI) tournament got underway, England captain Eoin Morgan said there was no question of Roy being dropped. This season, however, has seen the 26-year-old Roy manage just 47 runs in seven one-day international innings, his lean spell continuing into the start of hosts England’s Champions Trophy campaign. Jos Buttler: England will not give Australia easy ride

It’s not as if England lack alternatives with the in-form Jonny Bairstow having demonstrated his ability to open in white-ball cricket courtesy of a career-best 174 at the top of the order for Yorkshire last month. But with England already through to the semi-finals of an event featuring the world’s top eight ODI sides ahead of their final Group A match against arch-rivals Australia at Edgbaston on Saturday, Farbrace said now was not the time for a change of batsman.

England have been a transformed side in the 50-over game since their woeful first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. It was at Edgbaston nearly two years ago where England showed they were determined to learn from that flop with a new approach to ODI cricket. They posted a then national record 408 for nine against New Zealand one of several totals of more than 300 in half of their last 46 ODIs.

Roy, however, made a golden duck in his first ODI innings before Joe Root and Jos Buttler struck centuries. But England believe the the benefits of Roy’s dynamic approach, as exemplified by a three-figure strike-rate, are worth the risks of some low scores along the way.

“The selflessness … Jason Roy epitomised it in that first series here against New Zealand, he played in the way we want people to play,” said Farbrace. “That’s continued,” added Farbrace the deputy to England’s Australian head coach Trevor Bayliss. One of the things we’ve been very consistent on is selection. We’ve stuck by people when they haven’t been taking wickets or scoring runs, and it’s always paid dividends. He’s not getting out to shots he hasn’t played (before), but when you’re not playing well they do look like tough dismissals. You just have to keep backing them. I don’t see any point in making changes before the semi-final next Wednesday.”