England's Roy out of Pakistan T20s

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Jason Roy (Getty Images)
Jason Roy (Getty Images)

England's Jason Roy has been ruled out of the upcoming three-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan after sustaining a left side strain, team management announced Thursday.

The Surrey top-order batsman suffered the injury this week in the team's preparation at Emirates Old Trafford, the venue for the series opener on Friday.

Roy will remain with the squad and commence his rehabilitation programme with a view to featuring in next month's white-ball series against Australia, a team statement said.

England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan, speaking to reporters later Thursday, said: "Unfortunately he tweaked his side two days ago now and will be ruled out for the three games in order to give him time to prepare for both series against Australia.

"At the moment we don't anticipate it being anything serious but we want to give him every chance to be fit for Australia, both series, the T20s and 50-over," Morgan added.

"We will see how he progresses over the next three or four days and be able to report back then."

World Cup winner Roy's absence could create an opening for Yorkshire's Dawid Malan or Somerset's Tom Banton, with none of England's leading multi-format players who appeared in the recent 1-0 Test series win over Pakistan selected for the T20s as officials maintain two separate squad 'bubbles' amid the coronavirus.

Morgan, however, was coy about the composition of a revamped top three, saying: "We have (decided) but we won't be disclosing it until tomorrow at the toss."

'Next man in'

Malan, a team-mate of Morgan's at Middlesex before joining Yorkshire ahead of this season, has a superb T20 international average of over 52, with one hundred and five fifties from just 10 matches at this level.

"Every time he is available, he has put himself forward as the next man in simply by weight of runs and the rate at which he has scored them," said Morgan of Malan.

Asked about rising star Banton's prospects, Morgan added: "Naturally he is a top-order batter but in a time where we have top-order batters in abundance and actually lack middle-order players, it is sometimes difficult to get him in in the position that is his strength."

Morgan said England had no plans to call up a reserve player as cover for Roy given that, with all-rounders Joe Denly and Moeen Ali already in the squad, "we have all bases covered".

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