London : Former England captain Kevin Pietersen was critical of the decision to omit out-of-form opener Jason Roy from the squad for the Men’s T20 World Cup, saying that the right-hander’s experience was something which the side should have been taking into a huge showpiece event.
On Friday, Roy was left out of England’s Men’s T20 World Cup squad, the three T20Is trip to Australia and from the upcoming seven T20Is tour of Pakistan as well. He has struggled to get going in England’s home summer, scoring just 78 runs in six T20Is, averaging 12.66.
Roy had been an integral part of England’s unit in white-ball cricket since 2015 and played a good role in the side winning the 2019 ODI World Cup at home. His ‘The Hundred’ campaign in 2022 for the Oval Invincibles was horrendous, with three ducks in four innings and his overall numbers in the competition standing at 51 runs in six innings.
“From my thinking, I wouldn’t want to take players to the World Cup that were overawed by the occasion. Jason Roy wouldn’t be overawed by the occasion. And that’s why I think experience is something you should be taking into such a big tournament.”
“Yes, Jason hasn’t played well. But I think they could have given him the opportunity to go to Pakistan…But leading into the T20 World Cup in India, he did something very similar,” said Pietersen, who was Player of the Tournament in England’s 2010 T20 World Cup triumph, on Sky Sports.
England men’s managing director Rob Key had said Jonny Bairstow will open the batting alongside captain Jos Buttler. But with Bairstow now ruled out of Men’s T20 World Cup due to a freak lower limb injury caused by slipping on the golf course, England now are facing the prospect of searching for a new opener to pair alongside Buttler.
“My issue is that leading into a World Cup, you want some sort of solidarity in the top of your order. I think to win a T20 World Cup like when we won the T20 World Cup back in 2010 all those years ago we had a one, two, three that was solid.
We had a one, two, three that actually performed, and then we had a middle order that made up when one of us didn’t perform.””I just think the experience, Roy at the top of the order, walking out at the MCG against (Mitchell) Starc, against (Josh) Hazlewood, or walking out against Mohammed Shami, (it’s a case of) ‘right, I’ve got this under control because actually I scored almost 200 against Australia in a one-day game four or five years ago’.”
“If you put a youngster up there and you put him in front of those guys on a big occasion, is it going to work? It may do. I don’t know the character of these guys. Maybe they dropped him, because those dismissals tell us a lot about where his head space is,” concluded Pietersen.