‘We almost did it last year… so why not?’: Jason Roy says scoring 500 in an ODI is a realistic goal for England group determined to make history
- Jason Roy believes Eoin Morgan’s team can break new ground this summer
- England get World Cup campaign underway against South Africa on Thursday
- Roy hit three successive 50-plus scores in the recent series against Pakistan
In the week where Virat Kohli accused England of being ‘obsessed’ with trying to become the first team to score 500 in a one-day international, Jason Roy insists it’s a realistic goal for a group of players determined to make history this summer.
Kohli was sat next England’s captain Eoin Morgan at a World Cup event in London last Thursday when he mischievously suggested: ‘This lot seem to be obsessed with it. England want to get to 500 before anyone else.’
However, Roy believes Morgan’s team can break new ground once they get their World Cup campaign underway against South Africa at The Oval on Thursday.
Jason Roy says scoring 500 in an ODI it is a realistic goal for England this summer
‘Yes,’ he says when asked whether England can break the 500-barrier at the tournament. ‘We almost did it last year and we had a couple of overs where we were a bit slack in that game so why not?’
The match Roy is referring to is last summer’s one-day international against Australia at Trent Bridge, when England posted a world-record total of 481 for six despite slowing up in the closing overs.
England broke their own world record that day, eclipsing the 444 for three they hit against Pakistan two years earlier.
Those mammoth totals are the clearest indication that this a special England team. Roy, though, says their achievements over the past four years, a period that has seen them climb to No1 in the rankings, will amount to nothing unless they win the World Cup.
‘We’ve got the expectations every game now, it doesn’t matter if it’s a World Cup or a series – we’re expected to win,’ said Roy. ‘We’ve had that for the last two years or more where we’ve gone into series and everyone has expected us to win it. Even in Australia.
‘So we’re definitely a group of individuals that don’t shy away from being put on that pedestal. We definitely want to get better, we want to add another level. Just because we’re No 1 in the world doesn’t mean we’re the best ever team to play the game. And that’s where we want to fly to. We want to win the World Cup and be the best-ever team England’s had.’
Roy looks dejected after being caught out by Australia’s Nathan Lyon on Saturday afternoon
If Roy and his team-mates do live up to their pre-tournament billing as favourites it will cap a rollercoaster few months for the opener, who has become a father for the first time and returned from hamstring and back injuries to hit peak form ahead of the World Cup with three successive 50-plus scores in the recent series against Pakistan.
‘It’s been an absolute whirlwind the last few months and an absolute hurricane of emotions to be honest,’ he says. ‘But to come out in that Pakistan series and start well and do so well it such a good feeling mentally.
‘I’m very excited, I’m like a kid on his first day at a new school. It’s my first 50-over World Cup and we’re in a great situation. We couldn’t be in a better frame of mind for it coming off the back of a good series against Pakistan. We’re in a good head space but it doesn’t count for anything until we win some games.’
Jason Roy had a scare over his baby daughter’s health during England’s series with Pakistan
Fatherhood has also helped Roy stay grounded ahead of the biggest summer of his career.
‘It does put everything in perspective and makes me want to push myself even more because you’re a role model to a super-tiny human,’ he says.
The pressure of a World Cup was put in the starkest perspective 10 days ago in Nottingham, when Roy’s baby daughter Everly was taken ill the night before the fourth ODI against Pakistan.
The 28-year-old powered through to hit a stunning century the following day despite only having two hours’ sleep after spending a fraught night in hospital alongside wife Elle.
‘Everything’s fine now,’ he said. ‘My wife was incredible throughout the whole thing. She stayed in hospital for two days with her so it was very scary but she dealt with it very well.
‘I wouldn’t have been able to play if my wife wasn’t so supportive. It really did put cricket in perspective. It was very, very special to get that hundred.’
Roy was man of the series and said the incident gave him motivation on the pitch