England hit by knocks to duo

Jason Roy is set to make his England debut against India

Jason Roy is set to make his England debut against India

First published in National News © by

England's NatWest Twenty20 International plans were hit by injuries to call-ups Jason Roy and Tim Bresnan, within hours of them being named in the squad to face India.

The uncapped Roy was hit on the hand while batting for Surrey against New Zealand A and has gone to hospital for an x-ray.

That potential setback at The Oval came soon after it emerged Bresnan was playing no part in the Roses match at Old Trafford as Yorkshire take no chances with the seamer's pectoral injury.

England named Durban-born batsman Roy and the experienced Bresnan in a 14-man squad to be led by Eoin Morgan for a one-off match which will conclude the international summer at Edgbaston next Sunday.

Roy gets the call after a breakthrough domestic season, in which he is the country's top NatWest Twenty20 Blast run-scorer with 677 at an average of 48.35 and strike rate of almost 160.

The 24-year-old is joined in the squad by three other players not currently involved in the Royal London one-day international series.

They are Bresnan, Ravi Bopara, a surprise omission from the ODI squad, and Nottinghamshire batsman James Taylor.

Morgan is again captain, as he was for England's Twenty20 against Sri Lanka earlier this summer, in the injury-enforced absence of Stuart Broad - who is set to undergo surgery on his knee this week.

Michael Carberry and Ian Bell, both involved in the defeat against Sri Lanka at The Oval in May, made way for Roy and Taylor.

Taylor has not featured for his country since last September's ODI win over Ireland in Dublin but has had a fine season for Nottinghamshire, while former dual Ashes winner Bresnan last played in England's embarrassing ICC World Twenty20 defeat against Holland in Chittagong five months ago.

National selector James Whitaker said: "This one-off NatWest International Twenty20 provides us with an opportunity to look at players who have impressed recently in domestic cricket and gives them a chance to test themselves on the international stage against high-quality opposition."

Taylor's availability depends on the conclusion next Saturday, without need for a reserve day, of Notts Outlaws' Royal London Cup semi-final against Durham at Chester-le-Street.

Before then, England have more pressing issues to address after their second successive ODI trouncing by India at Trent Bridge on Saturday.

The six-wicket setback, inflicted with seven overs to spare after England again failed to cope with the travelling spinners, leaves the hosts 2-0 down and unable therefore to win the five-match series after an initial washout in Bristol.

Captain Alastair Cook has been under pressure already from those, including former team-mates Graeme Swann and Michael Vaughan in their post-retirement roles as pundits, who believe he is not the right man to lead England to the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand early next year.

While Roy, Taylor and Bopara may have the opportunity next Sunday to demonstrate they can provide fresh impetus in England's middle order and therefore even steal into the World Cup, Cook cannot stargaze about what will happen next February and March but must concentrate on putting things right in this week's two remaining ODIs at Edgbaston and Headingley.

"When you play for England, you're under pressure to perform," Cook said.

"You keep looking six months, seven months away ... (but) we're very clear in the dressing room that we're trying to win the next game.

"You can turn it around very quickly, but it starts with individual responsibility."

Cook himself has gone 37 ODI innings, and more than two years, without a century - and collectively, England have made just four hundreds against Test opposition in 26 matches on their way to defeat in four of their last five series since the start of last summer.

The captain knows that must change, and is optimistic it will.

"It will take someone to score that hundred, and everyone will jump on the back of that," Cook said.

"You get 330 and you win a game of cricket, and it changes.

"It would (just) take someone like 'Morgs', for example, to suddenly go bang bang and get some 80s. He's that type of player.

"But again, probably it's confidence as a batting unit that we haven't scored the runs in the last couple of games.

"The only way [to put it right] is not looking at anyone else, but the six or seven batters to turn it round themselves."

There was minor encouragement for England in the return at Trent Bridge of fast bowler Steven Finn, so badly out of form last winter and absent from international cricket for almost a year.

Finn has also been selected in the Twenty20 squad, and Cook senses he is on his way back to peak form.

"He's come such a long way from where he was in February," Cook said.

"He probably went for a few too many runs [at Nottingham] - but as a guy bowling at 86, 87mph on a slow wicket, he adds a different dimension.

"You saw the best of Finn in New Zealand, and India once when we were there.

"If he can get back to that level, he's a very fine bowler."

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