Although Eoin Morgan has not confirmed that Jason Roy has been dropped, it was pretty obvious to all who saw England’s training session on Tuesday morning what will happen in the Champions Trophy semi-final against Pakistan.
Jonny Bairstow, Roy’s likely replacement on Wednesday, went in to the nets first and Roy, who did not bat until after the rest of the team, was dispatched to throw balls back from the long-on boundary. It was a brutal fall from grace.
Before this tournament began, skipper Morgan said he could not see a scenario where Roy would be left out.
It was a bold statement. It is quite right that every player is supported, but there also has to be fairness and integrity in selection.
Roy has made only 68 runs in his past nine one-day international innings and, even though we can sometimes be a little soft over dropping players, it is time for a change.
Roy, the Surrey right-hander, is a good player. He will be back in England’s plans, probably in the Twenty20 series against South Africa later this summer.
However, he was making bad choices and not giving himself the chance to score runs. Against Bangladesh he played a pre-meditated sweep and was caught at short fine leg. Against New Zealand he moved too far across his stumps and was bowled.
So, even though England are entering the semi-final of a major tournament, it seems right that a change is made.