World T20 2016 March 13, 2016

'I have got to realise, I'm not a robot' - Roy


Jason Roy warmed up for the start of England's World T20 campaign with a half-century against New Zealand © Getty Images

Jason Roy is aiming to combine his free-spirited batting with "tactical nous" as he and England seek to put behind recent limited-overs defeats in South Africa going into the World T20. England went down 3-2 in the ODIs - after holding a 2-0 lead - and lost both their T20 fixtures, but have started their build-up to the World T20 with a rousing six-wicket win over New Zealand. Roy's 36-ball 55 set in motion England's racy chase, and he hoped to replicate that touch without going for broke every time.

"I have got to realise I need to give myself time, I'm not a robot," he said. "It is [fun to go flat out] when you stay in longer than 10 balls. As well as enjoying myself and whacking it I need to give myself a chance, work hard and accumulate runs. A bit of tactical nous instead of just trying to bludgeon the ball is something I have learned a huge amount about in the last two and a half weeks. Mentally I have been getting myself ready for that back at The Oval."

"The ball came on nicely," he added of his productive start in India. "It was my first experience of playing T20 cricket at this stadium. The seamers were coming on nicely in the first few overs. The boundary being smaller one side helped."

Roy managed a meagre 96 runs from five ODI innings in South Africa and scored 15 and 9 in the T20Is but his role in the limited-overs set-up has been defined more by the impact he can provide at the top along with Alex Hales. Roy, however, admitted to being weighed down by the pressure of having to live up to such an image during the South Africa series where he felt England were "mostly poor."

"It's a nice role to have, however you can put too much pressure on yourself like I did in South Africa," he said. "I put too much pressure on myself to go out there and whack it from ball one. I think I might have expected myself to score more runs than I did and I didn't really reach my expectations as well as I should have.

"I should have just freed myself and enjoyed myself instead of expecting to get runs. That's what I'm doing now, just going into each game and going ball by ball. I don't want to think about the game the night before or on the morning. I just want to have no pre-conceived ideas and not think too far ahead. My expectation was I was playing the bowlers before the game started I was doing that wrong.

"We didn't really do as well as we had hoped in South Africa. We played some poor cricket in amongst some good cricket, but mostly poor. The next couple of weeks are huge for us to turn it round. The squad's been really gelling well together and the training has been high intensity."

Roy dismissed suggestions of insecurity over his place in the side and spoke about the futility of looking over the shoulder, saying it would only reflect poor work ethic. "If you are questioning your place, you are not working hard enough," he said. "I just take each game as it comes and work as hard as I can in the nets. If I'm not picked, I'm not picked and there's another player who has earned himself the right to play instead of me. I'm never kind of too worried about whether I'm going to be picked or not."

He said England would aim to sustain the intensity displayed during the New Zealand game as they play a local side, which will feature a few players from the English squad, at the Brabourne Stadium on Monday.

"It doesn't really matter who you are playing against, it is just the environment of being in the middle of the stadium and taking it in, and there are four of our guys playing against us so no doubt they will be putting a huge shift in too. We have had inter-squad games and it does get very feisty, very aggressive. You might fall out for the night but we're all mates so it's all good."

From an English perspective there has been a significantly warmer attitude towards the shorter formats of the game following the appointment of Andrew Strauss as the director of England cricket. That Strauss has encouraged coaches and players to partake of the experience of overseas franchise T20 leagues augurs particularly well for the likes of Roy and Hales who have built their reputation in white-ball cricket.

"It's just that in the next few years you have got a huge amount of one-day cricket and Twenty20 cricket coming up. Especially now with the World Cup, we are realising that white-ball cricket is important now. And the more experience the better, the boys getting up to the IPL, playing there and playing all over the world is only positive. There probably is a bit of a change.

"My first Lions tour was to India, a lot of A tours have been played in the sub-continent, we went to Dubai, won against Pakistan. So we've made huge improvements and huge headway and the next couple of weeks will show just how much headway we have made."

Arun Venugopal is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Clad on March 15, 2016, 7:30 GMT

    @MARKBROP. The trouble with averages is that they are irrelevant when a player has only played a few games - in this case Roy has only played 8 T20I's. If Roy scores 3 fifties in the group stages his average will suddenly rocket to 23 (yes I know that's still not high but I am simply highlighting the drastic effect each game makes when a player is new), and if any of them are 'not out' scores his average could more than double within the space of a few games. You can't really learn anything from a players average until they have played at least 20 games.

  • markbrop on March 14, 2016, 15:11 GMT

    DSA: Roy is actually averaging 13 in T20 internationals. These players seem to be hyped up beyond belief by the English media.

  • Lee on March 14, 2016, 8:55 GMT

    People love to jump on an English player... look at how rubbish Stokes was in the lead up to SA this year. Roy is learning the game and is an immense talent...he will do a job in his first major tournament this term and if he doesn't he will learn from it

  • manan on March 14, 2016, 6:01 GMT

    Jason Roy is the Shikhar Dhawan of England

  • Varun on March 14, 2016, 3:52 GMT

    He is playing international cricket and now he realises he needs to play smart cricket. Just ridiculous.

  • Devinderpal Singh on March 14, 2016, 2:43 GMT

    The typical trick, where a failing player that is now only in the team because they are continually backed, regardless, makes one score of note (with no admission of the weakened New Zealand bowling attack in this case), and after one such score does the troubled player admit that he failed in the previous tour/recent past, as if to suggest that the one innings is sufficient to remain in the eleven, without getting criticism for what preceded it. Roy is the latest in a long line to do this in an England shirt, but all the bluster in the world will back-fire if the opposition are anywhere close to their best. Eng's best weapon in the tournament is pure luck, and they are more reliant on it than most.

  • Alex on March 13, 2016, 19:57 GMT

    He need to think he has to be finisher. If he has that mind set he will not throw away his wicket for quick runs. Just keep the ball on ground first 10 overs. Or create technique like k srikkanth or some players who could swoop the ball on right bounce then it would be easier to hit over infield. it has risks. First he has to cement spots then he can work on technique. He can be asset in TEST if he believes he belong in that level. Talent is there. concentration is lacking mainly because there is too much pressure.

  • Danish on March 13, 2016, 18:37 GMT

    It's not just him. This is for everyone. Batsmen in this format forget there are things such as singles and doubles. Taking 5 doubles is better than scoring 2 fours. Moeen Ali is one of the batsmen who needs to hit along the ground. He is stylish, but his success is in hitting along the ground; not trying to go over the top which results in him getting easily caught out

  • blahblah1234567_9F5B2346-4AB1-446E-A1A0-77E2268CE43B on March 13, 2016, 18:04 GMT

    England has a lot of potential but they don't seem to apply it properly... they need a caption like baz who expresses himself and other players follow. eoin Morgan might be a good player but his captaincy isn't that influential.

  • blahblah1234567_9F5B2346-4AB1-446E-A1A0-77E2268CE43B on March 13, 2016, 16:51 GMT

    well, he should have figured his problems out a bit earlier ...

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