Roy relishing the challenge to keep opening spot for England


ason Roy believes he has put a tough summer behind him and is ready to see off England’s “frightening talent” to secure his place at the top of the order in T20 cricket.

When the three-match series against South Africa begins on Friday, Roy is expected to open with Jos Buttler in a strong England batting line-up,

“It’s a beautiful position to be in, spoilt for choice,” said Roy of England’s batting riches ahead of next year’s World Cup in India.

“I would 100 per cent be lying if you said you were not under pressure for your place.

“The amount of talent that is around us. There is not one person. Everyone is getting pushed to their limits. No one can rest on their laurels. It’s one of those amazing squads.

“I have got to get myself physically fit, mentally fit and then I’ve got to score some runs.  It’s as simple as that.”

Roy admitted he struggled with bubble life in the summer and “physically and mentally I probably wasn’t where I wanted to be”, so pulled out of the IPL.

The 30-year-old missed England’s T20 programme in the summer through injury and made just 49 runs in six ODI innings before returning to form on Surrey’s run to the Vitality Blast final.

“I finished the summer on a bit of a high,” he said.

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“It was a tough summer. Injury plus a new environment that is completely alien to me and who I am as a person. Mentally it was very tough. Physically, getting injured wasn’t great.

“It was one of those summers to go alright, this is where you are at. Leave it, push it aside, don’t go to the IPL, sort yourself out and come back stronger. I feel great for it.

“It’s actually a very distant memory now, the summer, which is quite a nice feeling.”

Roy is excited about the prospect of the series being a pace race, with England’s Jofra Archer and Mark Wood coming up against Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje.

“You just know you need to switch on or you’ll leave with a few broken bones,” he said. “You’ve got to make sure your training is on point and ready to face a bit of fire.”

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