England striving to turn around form, says Roy

Jason Roy, the England opener, expressed a willingness to change his personal and his team's form in Twenty20s, after a lacklustre showing in South Africa. England's preparations for the World Twenty20 begun well with a six-wicket win against New Zealand on Saturday, helped by a quickfire half-century from Roy himself.

Jason Roy smashed seven fours and two sixes in his half-century that helped England chase its target of 170 against New Zealand n on Saturday.   -  Getty Images

Born in South Africa. Excelled for Surrey. Mastered the switch-hit. Tattoos on his arms. Played for England. Hang on, it’s not Kevin Pietersen. We are referring to >Jason Roy. And the England opener, who has been compared to Pietersen by the ousted England star himself, will have more reasons than one to look forward over the next three weeks.

Roy will not only hope to play a substantial contribution during England’s World Twenty20 campaign but will also try and cement his place on the back of a mediocre outing in England’s last international series.

“We didn't really do as well as we'd hoped in South Africa. We played some poor cricket in among some good cricket, but mostly poor,” Roy said on the sidelines of England’s training session at the Wankhede stadium on Sunday. “The next couple of weeks are huge for us to turn it round. The squad has been really gelling well together and the training has been high intensity.”

Roy broke into the England squad on the back of a sensational performance in the Natwest Twenty20 Blast, England’s domestic T20 competition. While he showed promise in hitting his maiden One-Day International (ODI) century against Pakistan in the UAE last November, his form fizzled out during his team’s tour of South Africa in February.

Extra pressure

The aggressive opener returned with a tally of 96 runs in five ODIs against Proteas. Even in T20s, he scored only 24 runs in two innings. Roy admitted he put too much pressure on himself, which resulted in his lacklustre performance.

“I put too much pressure on myself to go out there and whack it from ball one,” he said. “I’ve got to realise I need to give myself time, I’m not a robot. As well as enjoying myself and whacking it I need to give myself a chance, work hard and accumulate runs.”

If the warm-up game against New Zealand on Saturday, in which Roy starred with a 36-ball 55 at the top to set up the chase of 170, is an indication, Roy seems to have learnt his lesson. “It was a great start for myself and the team. Obviously it was good to put some stuff I’ve been working on in practice into a match, always good to get out there and spend time with Halesy (Alex Hales) as well. I’ve been enjoying the environment and working hard as well.”

England would be hoping Roy continues his stellar show when it matters the most.