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Denly set to open in fourth Ashes test, Roy drops down order

Staff Writer

Joe Denly will open the batting for England in the fourth Ashes test with the struggling Jason Roy to drop down the order, the batsman said on Monday.

England will hope that Denly can add some solidity with Rory Burns when the fourth test gets underway at Old Trafford on Wednesday, as the latter’s Surrey teammate Roy has accumulated just 62 runs in the three tests so far.

Roy, who has failed to adapt to the five-day format since the World Cup-winning campaign earlier in the season, will drop down to four.

Denly scored his first-half century of the series in England’s miraculous run chase in the third test, inspired by Ben Stokes, which levelled the five-match series at 1-1.

“I got a call from (captain) Joe Root after a bit of time off and he said he’d like me to go at the top of the order and try to get us off to a good start,” Denly told BBC Radio.

Denly made scores of six and 17 as an opener on his test debut against the West Indies in January before dropping down the order.

But he thinks his partnership with Rory Burns could enable Roy to attack the Australian bowling.

“Obviously Jason is going to bat four and that’s great for English cricket,” said the 33-year-old Denly.

“With Jason Roy in the team we are a better team and with him coming in at four, hopefully with the new ball worn off and myself and Rory Burns doing our job at the top, it allows him to come in and play his way. He’s a great player to have there.”

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