Dubai: England, the 50-overs world champions, may have a number of worries ahead of their opening match in the T20 World Cup in UAE against holders West Indies on Saturday - but their swashbuckling opener Jason Roy is not willing to read too much into them.
The form of their insiprational captain Eoin Morgan in the IPL had been a point of concern for the camp with him admitting that he is willing to sit in the dugout in the interest of the team, Roy believes that they have worked very hard for this tournament and the boys will certainly rise to the occasion ‘‘as soon as the competition starts.’’
Speaking at a zoom interaction with selected media, facilitated by the Abu Dhabi T10 League where he is the Icon player for Delhi Bulls, Roy struck a positive note in reply to a question on the lack of runs from some members of the top order. ‘‘We are not concerned by the lack of runs by some members of the top order - we have been training hard. As soon as the competition starts, the boys rise to the occasion,’’ said Roy, who was a key member behind their 2019 win in England.
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The absence of matchwinners like Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and now Sam Curran had been quite a talking point ahead of England’s campaign. Asked if they would be missed, Roy said: “It’s not a problem but a shame really. You look at the England squad now and it is still very strong at the moment. So we are not worried about our chances.”
Their run-up to the World T20 had been a consistent one with England winning nine of their last 11 bi-lateral T20 series. Roy, however, feels that while it allows them to be in a good space, there is no question of taking any match lightly. They are in the tougher group A where England are clubbed with traditional foes Australia, South Africa, West Indies and the two qualifiers. ‘‘See, it’s a World Cup and there are no easy matches. We can’t take any side lightly,’’ he said.
England lost their first warm-up game against Virat Kohli’s India but managed to defeat New Zealand by 13 runs in the second clash on Wednesday (October 20). “India are playing some amazing cricket and have just completed IPL 2021, so they will be one of most dangerous sides. In our own group, South Africa have managed to defeat Pakistan and will be a dangerous outfit,” Roy felt.
“The India match was our first game after a long time, so we are not very concerned about that loss. It was a case of getting to know where we can improve and we have to learn very quickly,” the English opener felt.
Speaking about the benefits of heading into the World T20 barely days after the IPL, where Roy along with several members of the England side were involved, the 30-year-old added: “Coming from IPL 2021 to T20 World Cup 2021 has a lot of benefits. We have a feel of things, training and playing on these pitches, spending a lot of time interacting with players from other teams. Boys who have played in IPL have a big advantage,”
Finally, his thoughts on pitches in the UAE? ‘‘They are on the slower side, but we have played a lot of our cricket here. There is a lot of knowledge going around about it,’’ he said.
Asked about what difference he hopes to make as an Icon player for his Abu Dhabi T10 franchise Delhi Bulls, Roy said: ‘‘It’s just a label but I will be ready to help out with my experience to the younger players. We have got a fine blend of youth and experience in the team and should do well.’’