Jason Roy's absence for Australia World Cup clash is 'massive blow', says Nasser Hussain
"I still have a lot of faith in this team. They didn't go to No 1 in the world without having some decent principles and decent players"
Last Updated: 25/06/19 10:02am
Nasser Hussain has described Jason Roy's absence for England's crucial Cricket World Cup clash against Australia at Lord's on Tuesday as "a massive blow".
Roy was officially ruled out on Monday as news came through that he was to have a second scan on his torn hamstring.
England still hope to have Roy back fit for their final group game against New Zealand - and might decide to risk him against India on Sunday - but James Vince will get another opportunity opening the batting against Australia.
"The Roy injury is a massive blow. Make no mistake of that," Hussain told Sky Sports News. "He is a fabulous player. Vince is a good player, but he is no Jason Roy.
"One of the reasons for England's success has been their top two. On the back of the Alex Hales incident that resulted in him not being picked for this squad - with him around, he'd slot in - it's a massive dynamic change at the top of the order.
"I never expected Roy to be available, to be honest. Ten days to recover, for a person who has had hamstring problems in the past - it is not something you risk at all.
"They've now targeted India [on Sunday]. Even that, for me, seems a bit 50-50. But he does have to play at least one game, because if England get through to the knockout stage, they will want him to have played some cricket.
"Vince is playing how he has always played. He goes off to Hampshire and smashes hundreds but, when he plays for England, he looks very good at the crease and like an international player until he gets out.
"Until he changes that, and kicks on to convert these 20s, 30s, 40s into hundreds, the question marks will still be out there."
Despite the Roy setback, and having suffered two surprise defeats to Pakistan and Sri Lanka over their first six games, Hussain is still confident England can qualify for the semi-finals.
England are currently fourth in the World Cup table, needing two wins from their final three games to all but guarantee qualification to the knockout stage, due to their superior net run-rate.
But those final three games are all against the teams currently above them, starting with a clash against old foes Australia at Lord's on Tuesday.
"I still have a lot of faith in this team," Hussain added. "They didn't go to No 1 in the world without having some decent principles and decent players.
"They were always going to lose a game or two on the way through. I don't think that means we should suddenly doubt them.
"Anyone who has watched this team over the last three or four years has seen them lose, but also seen how they have reacted to those losses. Eoin Morgan won't be panicking at all.
"Australia are a good team. Everyone presumed this tournament was going to have scores of 350 plus, but actually 300 has proven to be a pretty good score, and that has brought Australia into it.
"Plus, they have [Ricky] Ponting and [Justin] Langer on the sidelines. They are serial winners.
"But there are still a few cracks in there. Their fifth bowler. There are definitely areas England can target.
"Also, from my era to this era, my era my have had a bit of mental baggage and scarring against Australia, but this lot of England cricketers don't - they beat them 5-0 in an ODI series last year."
That Australia team that were whitewashed in the ODI series by England last summer didn't include Steve Smith and David Warner - the pair serving their year-long bans for ball tampering.
With Smith and Warner now set to face England in competitive action for the first time, a frosty reaction is expected from the crowd.
England captain Morgan has played down the issue, saying supporters throughout the country will have different reactions.
"It's better for them to have their first game here, instead of in front of the Hollies Stand at Edgbaston, or somewhere like that," Hussain said. "At Lord's, it will be a little bit more civilised but there will still be a lot of boos.
"A lot of England fans have been waiting for tomorrow. And Morgan is absolutely spot on, it is not his job to tell the fans what to do or what not to do.
"Some will boo because it's just a bit of banter, and some will because, after years of being lectured by Australia and their cricketers, a couple of them were caught cheating, and they will feel they deserve everything they get.
"It's not for me or Morgan, or anyone else, to tell the England fans what to do.
"But my personal opinion is that they have done the time - everyone makes mistakes - and I will move on. Others will not."
Watch England play Australia, live on Sky Sports Cricket World Cup (404) from 9.30am on Tuesday.