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Ashes 2019: Joe Denly confirms he will swap with opener Jason Roy for fourth Test

Joe Denly and Jason Roy

Joe Denly (left) has two half-centuries from 12 Test innings
Men’s Ashes 2019: England v Australia, fourth Specsavers Ashes Test
Venue: Old Trafford Dates: 4-8 September Time: 11:00 BST
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and BBC Sport website, plus in-play highlights and text commentary.

Batsman Joe Denly says England are a “better team” with Jason Roy in their side after he confirmed he will swap places with the opener for the fourth Ashes Test against Australia.

Roy has struggled in the series so far, scoring 57 runs in six innings.

He will drop to number four for the Old Trafford Test, which starts on Wednesday, with Denly taking his place at the top of the order.

Denly said it is “great for England cricket” that Roy will keep his place.

“I got a call from Joe Root after a bit of time off and he said he’d like for me to go at the top of the order and try and get us off to a good start,” Denly told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“Obviously Jason’s going to bat at four.”

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Kent batsman Denly opened the batting on his England debut against West Indies this year but scored only six and 17 before moving to number three and later number four.

He only averages 24.33 from his six Tests but made an important half-century in England’s second innings of the third Test at Headingley, which the hosts won to level the series at 1-1 with two matches to play.

Roy was brought into the Test side after starring in England’s 50-over World Cup-winning team as an aggressive opening batsman, but his highest score in the Ashes series is only 28.

Rather than drop the Surrey batsman after four Tests, England have decided to move him down the batting order to face an older ball.

“With Jason Roy in the team, I think we’re a better team for sure,” Denly said.

“With him coming in at four with hopefully the new ball worn off, and hopefully myself and Rory [England opener Rory Burns] doing our jobs at the top, it enables him to come in and play his way.

“He’s a dangerous player so he’s great to have there.”

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