Roy relishing future challenges
Jason Roy may have caught the eye with his performances in domestic cricket this summer, but the explosive Surrey batsman is aware he still has much to learn if he is to fulfil his lofty ambitions.
After finishing 2011 as the second highest run-scorer in the Clydesdale Bank 40, Roy has linked up with the England Performance Programme for the first time and will be among those heading out to India today for training camps designed to increase the players’ familiarity with sub-continental conditions.
However, he needs no reminding that further work lies ahead, starting on the trip to India.
Speaking about his elevation to the EPP ranks at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough, Roy told ecb.co.uk: “It was a massive surprise for me. I had a solid season in the one-day format, but I was very surprised really.
“Obviously it’s a huge honour to represent England at whatever stage and I just want to grasp it and take it by the horns.
“I’ve never been to India, so it should be quite an interesting trip for me. There’s a lot to learn, a lot of things I want to work on. Just learning about their culture and the way they play their cricket (is exciting), and with the 2015 World Cup coming up, that’s a massive aim of mine, so it will help me get to grips with the sub-continental conditions.”
Yet while his ability to score quickly is undoubtedly a useful asset, the South Africa-born youngster is keen to prove he also has what it takes to flourish in the longer form of the game.
A first championship hundred, which guided Surrey to a draw with Glamorgan in May, proved Roy can transfer his skills to the four-day arena, and unsurprisingly ranks as a highlight of the powerful right-hander’s short career to date.
Roy explained: “It was not only getting my hundred, but getting it with Ramps (Mark Ramprakash) at the crease especially because he’s a very big idol of mine and a legend of the game. Anything you want to talk about, he’s able to sit with you and actually have a chat about it. He’s done everything so it’s nice to speak to him.”
Elaborating on his approach to four-day cricket, he continued: “In the championship you have to rein yourself in a lot, almost say to yourself at the beginning of the day, 'I'm only going to play these shots' and stick to it.
“When you get to 100 or 150 you can open up and do what you want really because it all seems to be a lot easier, but I think from nought to 20, that’s the toughest thing for me.
“It’s a case of just working your way to 20, 30, 40 ... 10 runs at a time and just staying solid. It’s something I’m definitely working on. I want to be averaging more next season.”
Such a task will be made more challenging by Surrey’s promotion, yet Roy is confident he and his team-mates can prosper next summer.
“It’s pretty exciting times,” he added. “Next year should be a good test for us and I think we can live up to that and show what we are about in Division One.
“We’ve got a very strong side, and very good depth in the side as well now. I just think the way we played in Division Two this year towards the end was just unreal.
“The brand of cricket we played, no-one can touch us and I’m very confident that we will be able to be successful next year.”