Former England batsman Bell backs Jason Roy ahead of June’s Champions Trophy

Former England batsman Ian Bell has tipped Jason Roy to do ‘huge damage’ to visiting bowling attacks when the Champions Trophy begins next month.

Roy looks set to open England’s batting alongside Nottinghamshire’s Alex Hales, with the pair known for their big hitting at the top of the order.

The Surrey man has recently returned from a spell in the IPL with the Gujarat Lions, where he made just three appearances and top scored with an effort of 31 against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

With chances limited, he chose not to return to India following a planned return home for the recent ODI series against Ireland and has made two Royal London One Day Cup appearances for Surrey.

With just once score over 50 in his last ten innings in all competitions Roy will be out to make his mark on the tournament, and Bell has backed him to come good at the right time.

“Jason Roy can do huge damage. We have two guys who are aggressive at the top of the order and it’s a nice balance to the batting line up now,” said the five-time Ashes winner.

“We’ve a world class player in Joe Root, in all formats, who can play in all conditions, but to have the aggression at the top with Roy and Hales, and Morgan lower down, it’s a nice looking line-up.

“If Roy gets us off to a good start with Hales, then we’ll be in a good place. And the more you play in English conditions, especially at this time of year, the better you are going to be.”

England begin their Champions Trophy campaign against Bangladesh at The Oval on June 1, before facing their traditional Antipodean opponents in Australia and New Zealand to finish the group stage.

The top two from each group go through to the semi-finals, and with just three matches determining England’s fate in the group, Bell felt it was a wise move on Roy’s part to remain in England, acclimatising to the conditions.

“It’s probably an advantage for us that he is playing for Surrey now, not in the IPL on flat wickets, so that he can get used to playing 50-over cricket for Surrey,” he added.

“And from an English supporter viewpoint then it’s better to have him here, doing that, than in the IPL.”

Bell is also optimistic about England’s chances in the event, despite England never having won a major 50-over trophy in their history.

“English spectators and supporters have got a great competition to watch here, which is going to be fantastic,” he concluded.

“At the minute I like the look of England and the balance of the squad.

“We have never won a 50-over trophy before, but when I look at the full squad and the very good players that are being left out, it shows the strength in depth we’ve got.

“That’s a really good thing for me. In English conditions, the last time it was here, we went and got to the final so hopefully we can go one better this year.”

The ICC Champions Trophy 1-18 June will see the best eight ODI teams in the world play in Birmingham, Cardiff and London. Tickets available at

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