Jason Roy has got Australia's number and should play in the Ashes

How to describe it? Maybe just as The Shot. Possibly of the tournament, certainly of the day. A transformative single blow struck by England's man of the hour, Jason Roy, off the bowling of Mitchell Starc.
It wasn't so much the importance of The Shot, given England's complete dominance in this semi-final, won with 17.5 overs to spare, or even its power, as impressive as that was. It was more the ease on display, the confidence and optimism, the presumption, the flair.
The Shot spoke of all England will take into Sunday's final at Lord's, all the core of this team will hope to bring to the Ashes series this summer, too. And it spoke of the protagonist. What he is to this team, what he yet might be. The Shot said Roy has Australia's number; that he is not intimidated by them, their pace, their attitude, their reputation.
The Shot said the hosts have found their opening batsman for the tests and Tests ahead. England's bowlers had already done significant damage, but it was Roy that took this game away from Australia. His 85 - unjustly curtailed - left England in an unassailable position, set fair for victory whether or not rain intervened. They sailed past Australia's score as it was but once the match reached 20 overs with England 147-2, only an inexplicable collapse could have denied Eoin Morgan's team. Their superiority on the Duckworth-Lewis method was so great it was close to comical. The clouds carried no terrors, nor Australia's bowling. The Shot, and its meaning, continued to ricochet around the stadium.
It was the fifth ball of the sixth over. Jonny Bairstow had already cut Starc to the boundary and picked up a straightforward single with a steer to third man. Roy was now on strike, England 25 without loss and ticking along nicely. Even so, nobody was expecting The Shot. Starc swung one to Roy's legs, not his greatest ball, but not one to invite a cavalier response, either. It was pitched up, not short, demanding safety, at best a glance off the pads. Instead, Roy went full MS Dhoni. Maybe not the complete helicopter, but certainly the same principle; a wristy flick that had no right to send the ball as far as it did.
The Shot was all about those flexible joints, lifting the ball off the bottom of Roy's bat with such force it flew over Nathan Lyon at wide fine leg for six. Briefly, Roy stood to admire his handiwork, almost impressed. Then he pursed his lips in recognition of a job successfully completed, as the ball cleared the rope and pounded against the perimeter board. Many great sights would soon follow; but nothing made a statement quite like The Shot.
That Roy sent the 35th ball of the innings for six was also a declaration of intent. Undone early, with only Steve Smith shoring up the innings, it took Australia until the game's 32nd over to clear the boundary ropes. It was a desperately poor performance from them in the circumstances. They lost wickets steadily, scored runs slowly.
Virat Kohli said a bad 45 minutes cost India their place in the final this week, but it is had to think of a good spell of any significant length recorded by Australia; or any part of the game in which England were not superior. Chris Woakes was awarded man of the match for his huge breakthrough wickets, but Roy's 85 cemented them. Australia needed early victims and Roy and Bairstow refused to play the role. This was their 11th century partnership in 32 innings - and almost 60 per cent of their pairings get to 50 - by far the best record of any established duo in one-day cricket right now.
Inevitably, there will be talk of getting the band back together for the Ashes. Roy's selection is increasingly inevitable, but might his understanding with Bairstow - and this destruction of an Australian attack - place Rory Burns' berth under threat, particularly if it might also afford a place to specialist wicket-keeper Ben Foakes? A discussion for after Sunday, perhaps. Yet Roy's form in this tournament has at least given the selectors one less matter to debate. Resistance to his promotion to the long form game seems increasingly futile and, if there were any doubts, his innings on Thursday left little room to entertain them.
On came Lyon, still Australia's premier Test spinner and an outspoken figure around Ashes series. Roy hit him back over his head, first ball, for six. In the same over, he would reverse sweep him Kevin Pietersen style for four - 13 coming from Lyon's first six balls. See you in August, pal.
And who doesn't like seeing an Australian captain hit for six? Whose doesn't like to see it three times, in fact - in three balls. It was pandemonium out there in those moments, Smith giving up 21 in a single over including three mighty clouts from Roy. The last one struck the top tier of Edgbaston's biggest stand - the first time it had happened since the structure was built, according to club officials. If the afternoon had one negative - beside the possible injury to Bairstow who turned an ankle chasing two and wasn't quite the same after - it was that Roy didn't get to carry his bat, or make his century and will be short of his full match fee — with 30 per cent deducted — for an angry reaction to an untimely end.
Bairstow had already used up England's referral, needlessly given that he was plumb lbw and operating largely on one leg at the time, when Roy was judged to have gloved one behind. Roy instantly and fruitlessly referred, replays showed no touch, umpires explained this information was useless due to Bairstow's earlier thoughtlessness. A batsman having to be persuaded to leave the field is never a pretty sight and Roy can expect to hear more of this. Some were speculating he could be suspended for the final. Those with New Zealand addresses, most probably; or the many Australians who for some mysterious reason felt the need to leave early. 
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