I'm very pleased at the news announced today that Jason Roy is in the Surrey squad for tonight's game with Middlesex at Lord's. I first saw Roy a couple of seasons ago and when the Oval still used to sell out he was a favourite with the crowd. His batting wasn't up to much then, but his fielding was electric and that counts for a lot in T20.
Two years on and given his performances in the Second XI and particularly a ridiculous hundred from 30-odd balls in a recent match he has more than earned his opportunity. In the past the youngsters have been given a go at the back end of the T20 when we're already dead and buried. Good to see Roy given this opportunity now, when we're not quite out of it!
It also represents a good opportunity for him to join Andrew Symonds in the middle order, Symonds' nickname is of course Roy, so that's all jolly good fun.
The 13 man squad and my preference is:
Bench: Stewart Walters, Gareth Batty.
I know I've been harping on about getting Walters in, but I think Roy represents a better prospect so as worthy as Walters might be of a place, I'd plump for the youngster. Chris Schofield or Gareth Batty is much of a muchness, but I would urge the management in the strongest terms that if Batty does play, please dispense with this policy of batting him at number three! I have a sneaking suspicion he might get in ahead of Schoey.
Again I hope that Spriegel bats up the order, and bowls his full quota of four (unless he's totally collared), but I suspect neither of those things will happen. Middlesex will field a strong side but Eoin Morgan will not play as he is away with England. As a knowledgeable friend expressed to me, Morgan has been the rock of their middle order and they will miss him. He's been replaced by Scott Newman, who may be nowhere near the quality of Moggie, but he'll be keen to show Surrey what they're missing.
The Middlesex top order of Gilchrist and Warner will be key and we absolutely have to keep them quiet. Dexter and Shah in the middle order can be dangerous too. I will be very annoyed if the ex-Surrey pair of Murtagh and Collins tak a bundle of wickets too!
Come on now boys, a win tonight and we can carry the momentum into the two matches which follow soon after, its not over yet!