Eye-catching Surrey opener Jason Roy is this year’s top run-scorer in the NatWest T20 Blast going into Finals Day. Here he explains the fundamentals of his job at the top of the order in the shortest form.
Before a game I practise very basic disciplines. As long as my head is straight, my feet are aligned and I play myself in, all the other shots almost happen instinctively – outside off over cover, off the legs, sweeps – so in the build-up to a match I am just making sure my basics are in good order.
I practise playing straight to good length balls – but not being tentative: bringing the bat back and then taking a positive step towards the ball and getting into it.
I don’t have a huge backlift, but it does go back. That helps me bring it through positively towards the ball.
I’m more of a front foot player, and if they bowl short I won’t go too far back, I’ll just pull it from wherever I am. But I’m happy to play the pull if they want to bowl short at me. I used to be a very back foot player and stay far back, waiting for the short ball, but now I just come at the ball and it seems to be working a lot better for me.
HIT A SIX
I’d say 98 per cent of the time it’s all timing, just making sure you’ve got a solid base with your trunk, and your feet are on the ground. Don’t try and hit it as hard as you can, just try and stroke through the ball. You’ve got to keep your head still, and stay balanced over the shot.
Whoever is bowling to me I’m not thinking negative thoughts, you’ve got to stay positive, no matter how quick it is, how bad the pitch is. Be positive.
I keep it very simple, hit a lot of balls. The main thing is keeping my head straight, getting my feet aligned, getting into my positions early and then just playing straight.