England vs Sri Lanka: Jason Roy’s heroics leave an impression on Joe Root
Joe Root believes Jason Roy has set the standard for England’s one-day top order with his eye-catching efforts against Sri Lanka.
The Surrey opener made 112 not out in the second game at Edgbaston as he and opening partner Alex Hales, with an even more impressive 133 not out, made straightforward work of a chase of 155 and blasted England to a 10-wicket win with nearly 16 overs to spare.
Roy reached new heights with 162 off 118 balls on his home ground of the Oval as England, despite Hales’ injury, chased 308 in little over 40 overs for a series-clinching six-wicket win in game four.
Roy was out for three in the series opener at Trent Bridge and rain halted him at five not out in Bristol but he has piled up 282 runs at an average of 141 and a strike rate of 122.60.
Root was impressed with the 25-year-old’s Edgbaston masterclass and told Sky Sports News: “It was great to see, the way he went about it and the ruthlessness as well at the end, you could see by his reaction when he got out.
“There was real thought and clarity in the way he went about his business, which previously you might not have associated with Jason. That shows how he’s developed during his time in an England shirt and where he wants to take his game.”
Roy’s 162 was five runs short of Robin Smith’s England ODI record but Root said: “To make such a significant score in a run chase, he should be extremely proud of what he’s achieved in this series. It would be good to see him go out and go high again tomorrow.”
England’s resurgence since last year’s dismal World Cup showing is plain to see, with Hales, Root, captain Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow also capable of big scores.
Root hopes to see that in Saturday’s series finale in Cardiff and said: “We’ve got a number of guys now who, if they get in on their day, will be lining up scores of over 200, which is frightening.
“(Roy) probably got out in the 35th over (actually the 38th), so if he’d played 50 overs he was on course for a massive score. That’s the benchmark for everyone to follow and move forward with.”