Cricket

Jason Roy, left, and Kumar Sangakkara are Surrey team-mates.

Kumar Sangakkara: Jason Roy has more ability than I have

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Kumar Sangakkara, fifth on the list of the all-time leading Test run-scorers, believes England's limited-overs batsman Jason Roy has more "ability" than him and can thrive in the longest format.

Roy has shown flashes of brilliance in his 20 one-day and 14 Twenty20 international matches and was named in the International Cricket Council's team of the tournament after helping England reach the final of the World T20.

Now he has been backed to transfer his skills to the Test arena by Surrey team-mate and former Sri Lanka left-hander Sangakkara, who ended his illustrious international career last year.

Despite racking up 12,400 runs in Tests and 14,234 in ODIs, the modest Sangakkara thinks Roy is the more talented batsman and hopes the 25-year-old can push his claims for a place in the England middle order following the enforced retirement of James Taylor.

"He has got more ability than I have and a much greater repertoire of shots, definitely," Sangakkara told Surrey's official website.

"Jason could easily play Test cricket, he's the kind of player that can play any form of the game.

"He is a player who can take a game away from the opposition very, very quickly and that is very important in the modern game.

"I just hope that he gets his opportunity and maximises it. I love watching him bat. I think he's been wonderful for England in the one-day and T20 format and I sense he has a real hunger and desire to play the longer version as well."

While Sangakkara would have no hesitation in recommending Roy for England's series against his native Sri Lanka and Pakistan this summer, the 38-year-old added a note of caution.

"The key for Jason is that he trusts in his own ability and doesn't try to be anyone else," added Sangakkara. "Too much advice can sometimes be a problem.

"When something isn't wrong don't try and fix it. He should bat the way he's batting."

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