England opener Jason Roy on Thursday said the absence of the superstar duo of Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer in the upcoming Super-12 stage of the T20 World Cup 2021 is a 'shame'. He, however, insisted they have enough depth in their squad to go the distance. (More Cricket News)
Talismanic all-rounder Stokes, who played a key role in England's maiden ODI World Cup triumph in 2019, is away on indefinite leave for his mental well-being and to recover from a finger injury. Meanwhile, Archer was ruled out after the recurrence of a stress fracture in his right elbow. (IND vs ENG)
"I wouldn't say it's a problem — it's a shame. It's definitely a shame, not having those two here but you know they're on the same path of getting fit and healthy again," Roy, who will be turning out for Delhi Bulls in the Abu Dhabi T10 league, said during a virtual interaction.
England suffered another injury setback in all-rounder Sam Curran who has been ruled out with a lower-back injury, sustained during the IPL. His brother Tom Curran has been drafted into the England squad as his replacement, while Reece Topley has also been added as a travelling reserve.
Roy, however, insisted that the team has enough depth in their bench strength to go all the way.
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"You look at our depth of the squad now, the players we have, and it's still extremely impressive. The boys showed that they have done well in the warm-up game, and they've been training extremely hard, so I don't think it's a worry at all,” said Roy.
"We've got players that will definitely 100 per cent step up, rise to the occasion. They have more than enough skills. I can tell you that from training, there's more than enough skill that can take us all the way."
If the second leg of the IPL 2021 in UAE was any indication, the English players struggled to adapt to the sluggish pitches on offer. But the 31-year-old chose to differ.
"I don't think so. We've shown our skill on most tracks. The pitches aren't horrendous, they're just a bit slow, so that's not a problem.”
"The amount of training we've had, the camp we had, and then obviously a lot of the boys playing in the IPL, so there's a lot of feedback, knowledge going around about how to combat whatever you might come across.”
"So now I think the boys have the skill to combat whatever pitch was supplied with," he asserted. Boasting an impressive T20I strike rate of 145.66, Roy said they would feel at ease, having played in the IPL at the same venues.
"Coming from IPL 2021 to T20 World Cup 2021 has a lot of benefits. We have a feel of things, training and playing on these pitches, spending a lot of time interacting with players from other teams. Boys who have played in the IPL have a big advantage," said Roy.
England have growing concerns about the world number one T20I batter Dawid Malan who struggled in the slow tracks in the two warm-up matches against India and New Zealand and scored 18 (18 balls) and 11 (15 balls), respectively.
The 2019 World Cup-winning skipper Eoin Morgan, too, is enduring a poor run of form with 133 runs at an average of 11.08 in the recently-concluded IPL but Roy said the side is not worried overtly.
"We have been training hard, a lot of cricketers from England haven't played much in the last few months apart from those in the IPL,” he added.
"We are all shaping up well, they are getting into the swing of things. From my point of view, every esingle batsman in our top order has the ability to win games. I'm very excited to see that," Roy concluded.