World Cup: Jason Roy, leading England's ODI revolution from the front

England opener Jason Roy has been in scintillating form over the last year. He started the World Cup on a positive note with a run-a-ball 54 against South Africa at The Oval.

Jason Roy on his way to his fifty in England's World Cup opening match against South Africa.   -  AP

Opening batsman Jason Roy has been at the forefront of England's ODI revolution after its disastrous 2015 World Cup campaign. Roy, who made his debut against Ireland in May 2015, has been in scintillating form and will be a key player leading England's charge in its home World Cup.

Since his debut, Roy has accumulated 2,992 runs at an average of 41 and strike rate of 106. In the last year alone, the South Africa-born player has amassed 986 runs in 20 innings at an average of 52. This run tally includes four centuries and as many fifties at a strike rate of 114.

By comparison with the leading opening batsmen, Roy is only behind India's Rohit Sharma (1,416 runs), and Pakistan's Imam-ul-Haq (1,238) and Fakhar Zaman (1,092). However, their strike rate doesn't match up to Roy's.

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Coming into the World Cup, Roy had scores of 87, 76 and 114 in the home series against Pakistan. His hundred came after spending overnight at the hospital after his seven-week-old daughter was taken ill. Roy described it his match-winning century emotional.

"I had a bit of a rough morning, so this one is a special one for me and my family," Roy told the BBC. "It was my little one. We had to take her to hospital at 1.30 in the morning.

"I stayed there until 8.30 and came back for a couple of hours sleep. I got to the ground just before warm-up and cracked on. It was a very emotional hundred."

Roy celebrates after scoring a hundred against Pakistan. PHOTO: AP

 

The 28-year-old scored the first half century of the World Cup against South Africa at The Oval before being dismissed for 54 by Andile Phehlukwayo on Thursday.

Roy and his opening partner Jonny Bairstow have formed a formidable pairing for England since the Champions Trophy in 2017. The duo has scored 1,413 runs in 25 innings with five hundred-run stands and seven fifty partnerships.

They famously put on a 159-run opening run partnership against Australia at Nottingham in 2018 when England posted a record ODI score of 481.

With Roy's tendency to provide England with fast starts and an array of power-packed batsmen in its line-up, the Three Lions are often talked up as the side that will breach the 500-run mark in ODI first.

Roy, who played for Delhi Daredevils in the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL), opted out of the 2019 auctions to focus on England's international commitements. His only other appearance in the IPL was with now-defunct franchise Gujarat Lions.