England in South Africa 2015-16 February 1, 2016

Roy injury worry ahead of ODIs

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Jason Roy sat out England training due to a back spasm © Getty Images

Jason Roy sat out England's net practice in Bloemfontein due to a back spasm and will undergo a fitness test ahead of the first ODI with South Africa on Wednesday.

Roy suffered the injury during the warm-up but England expect him to be able to bat during Tuesday's session in order to prove his fitness. His absence would break up the opening partnership he has established with Alex Hales and possibly lead to Moeen Ali returning at the top of the order.

The Surrey batsman has previously spoken about using the tour to build confidence ahead of the World T20 in India next month. Roy scored his maiden ODI hundred in the UAE last year and has been part of an England side that has won five limited-overs series out of six.

South Africa, meanwhile, have added allrounder David Wiese to their squad as injury cover. Albie Morkel had been due to join the squad but also suffered a back spasm playing for Titans in the Momentum One-Day Cup, ruling him out of the first two ODIs.

An MRI scan showed some damage to the vertebrae in his lower back but Morkel could still be involved later in the series.

"I think I have been playing some of the best cricket of my life in the last year and a half," Morkel said. "If you cannot accept setbacks like these, remain positive and move on, the sporting world will be a dark place."

South Africa will also be without Kyle Abbott for the first two matches, in Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth, as he continues to recover from a hamstring strain suffered during the fourth Test against England. Marchant de Lange was called into the squad as pace-bowling cover on Sunday, with South Africa looking to manage the workloads of Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada.

Wiese and de Lange formed part of the South Africa A attack dismantled by England in Kimberley at the weekend - taking 2 for 73 and 2 for 69 respectively - but JP Duminy denied that the hosts were below strength. South Africa go into the one-day series having beaten India 3-2 in India last year, following a 2-1 home win over New Zealand.

"I don't think we're weakened. I think the replacements are good enough to stand in for those players,'' Duminy said. "It's not an interruption in any way for us. We know what's needed as a squad and it's important for us to stay unified as a team, no matter who the personnel are.

"The confidence from the one-day cricket point of view has been pretty good... We've won our last two series. But we know this is a tough challenge that faces us, and that England have also been playing really well in this format."

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  • yorkshire-86 on February 3, 2016, 15:37 GMT

    Ali has been a total and utter failure in the top six in all formats, why not put Willey as opener, thats where he bats at domestic level.

  • ArthursAshes on February 3, 2016, 8:54 GMT

    danishsyed88 - I don't know if it is good or bad, but poor Moeen is always tossed around the batting order. And then in the process if he under-performs, people complain. Is there any other batsman in history that has been floated around so much and so frequently?

    There have been quite a few, but in ODI's Ravi Bopara springs to mind. Played 120 ODI's, position/games breakdown, 1-4, 2-10, 3-6, 4-19, 5-14, 6-28, 7-23, 8-5. Up and down the order like a yoyo. His average of just over 30 was respectable and he was a decent bowler in the format, economy of 4.91. His scoring rate wasn't great, but he did play as England wanted the game played not so long ago. As usual took a lot of stick from England fans though. I suspect he would do a lot better under the new way of thinking, but at 30 his time has probably gone.

  • danishsyed88 on February 2, 2016, 23:03 GMT

    I don't know if it is good or bad, but poor Moeen is always tossed around the batting order. And then in the process if he under-performs, people complain.

    Is there any other batsman in history that has been floated around so much and so frequently?

  • blahblah1234567 on February 2, 2016, 15:17 GMT

    SIMPLYTHEBEST...-- Sure, after 52 odis, let's see where both hales and roy are. However, i agree that they might have their moments with SA bowling, which is severely inexperienced. Really, a t20 ranking doesn't hold too much value, also it seems that hales can't transfer into different formats fluidly, as seen in the RSAA vs eng match.

  • ArthursAshes on February 2, 2016, 11:50 GMT

    Nothing wrong at all if Moeen is used as a stop gap opener at ODI level. As a number 1 in 7 games he averages 37.57, and as a 2, 30.23 in 13. He compares ok with Hales who averages 25.17 in 24 and Roy, 33 in 15 as openers. Root might be wasted there and surprisingly he's never opened before in a ODI. It's not as if Moeen has failed big time when put up the order in ODI'S. I suspect that some don't bother to actually check what he has done. England clearly want Hales and Roy to work and they are a work in progress anyway. Moeen is a decent utility backup that gives options elsewhere should he need to open. If he fails it's no big deal, as he's perfectly capable of scoring big and at a decent SR if on. It's an ideal that you would want in someone who covers a position as long as you don't expect a big score every time he's called in to cover.

  • simplythebest... on February 2, 2016, 11:18 GMT

    @blahblah1234567. There is 1 large difference between Roy & QDK - Roy has only played 15 ODI's so far (debuted May 15) & QDK has played 52!! Sure when Roy has played 52 ODI's as well he will have at least 8 centuries. Wait till you have seen him cart the SA bowlers all over the park before passing judgement! I agree that Hales hasn't set the ODI world alight, but he isn't number 3 in the ICC T20 rankings for nothing (number 1 not that long ago).

  • blahblah1234567 on February 2, 2016, 10:44 GMT

    excuse me people, what's all the hype about hales and Roy they aren't even that good. look a qdk he is younger than both and already has 8 100s and much better prospect at tests than them.

  • souwesterly on February 2, 2016, 10:24 GMT

    If the management continue to persist with Hales then Roy will remain an enigma and 12th man. I do like the idea of Morgan opening though - with luck and a fair wind he'd could emulate Guptill and set the pace for good English totals.

  • simplythebest... on February 2, 2016, 7:52 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa . You can be forgiven for not knowing who J Roy is as he has only been in the England set up since May - one of quite a few white ball specialists drafted in after the debacle of the World Cup. He (like the others also bought in) is a very exciting prospect and he would be missed if he can't play. He is a 'stand and deliver' type batsmen - very big hitter with amazing bat speed, and he was a right handful for the Aussies in the ODI series last September. Also a good batsmen to watch, not just a slogger. Not a Lara or Richards yet though!

  • mphomoloi on February 2, 2016, 6:03 GMT

    Without steyn, philander, morkel and rabada the proteas balling lineup us rather hopeless and they'l be slashed to all parts by the likes of hales butler and stokes. If we are to salvage anything in the first odi then we have to pile the runs big time with a very long batting lineup. Only scores of 300 plus will do the trick

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