Whatever happens next for Jason Roy, he will still go down as an England white-ball great.

He was at the forefront of the Morgan Revolution and a vital component of the side that won the 2019 World Cup; it was no coincidence that England’s performances improved when Roy returned to the side after suffering an injury earlier in the tournament. His ODI record is brilliant and were it not for the staggering returns of his regular opening partner Jonny Bairstow, it would garner more attention. Before the second Australia-England ODI at Sydney, Roy was one of just three ODI openers to average more than 40 at a strike rate of more than 100 with a cut off of 10 innings. His longstanding opening partnership with Bairstow has a decent claim to be the best in the format’s history.

Roy’s form fell off a cliff in T20 cricket over the summer, so much so that he lost his England place weeks out of the T20 World Cup. He was rightly retained for the ODI series in Australia. Roy has always been a more valuable player in ODI cricket and given the dual retirements of Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes as well the absence of as obvious ready-made replacements as there are in T20Is, it made complete sense to back him.

But England now face an awkward decision. Two games into the Australia series and Roy has scored six runs, falling to Mitchell Starc on both occasions. Roy hasn’t faced enough balls for people to deem him out of form. But he certainly hasn’t faced enough ball for us to say he’s played his way back into form either.

In normal circumstances you would still be inclined to back Roy a year out of another World Cup. But unlike the build-up to the T20 World Cup that saw England play 10 T20Is in the month leading up the tournament, England’s current ODI schedule leading up the tournament is sparse. After the series finale at the MCG, England have just 12 confirmed ODIs before the 2023 World Cup – pretty much the same volume of games England had before the T20 World Cup this year when Roy was dropped from the T20I team.

Roy’s output in ODI cricket has quietly been poor for some time: against Full Member nations, he averages 21.26 in ODIs since the 2019 World Cup. And, like with Hales and Salt in the Pakistan tour that preceded the T20 World Cup, should Roy get dropped his replacement deserves time to acclimatise to the role especially considering the lack of domestic 50-over cricket available to the country’s top white-ball players. There are plenty of possible candidates; Alex Hales now has a World Cup winner’s medal to go with his outstanding ODI record, Phil Salt is thought of highly by the England camp while Dawid Malan boasts an extremely impressive ODI record. Either way England go, that decision should be made soon. England’s decision to drop Roy ahead of the T20 World Cup paid off big time, will they do the same again?