Bloemfontein [South Africa], January 28 (ANI): England batter Jason Roy admitted on Saturday that he was overcome with emotions after scoring his 11th ODI ton that marked his return to form after a "horrible year" with the bat.
South Africa spoilt Jofra Archer's return to international cricket and boosted their own chances of direct qualification for this year's ICC Men's Cricket World Cup with an impressive 27-run victory over England on Friday.
Roy's century came in 79 balls, but went in vain as his side lost the match by 27 runs while chasing 299 runs to win, despite being 146/0 at one point. It was his first ton against full member nation since 2019 50-over World Cup. This century may have transformed his prospects of being included in the 2023 World Cup squad after missing out on the T20 World Cup last year.
Roy admitted that his satisfaction with scoring a ton outweighed the frustration of defeat and admitted that the five-hour sleep after the match was the "best five hour sleep" he has had.
"I am feeling very good," he said on the morning after the match as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
"I actually did not sleep that well - I had about five hours sleep. I was a bit overcome with a few emotions and stuff like that, it has been a turbulent few months. I woke up really well, though, it was the best five hours' sleep I have had."
"Yeah, it was a little bit of anger around it all, just because I set everything to the back of my mind and locked a few things away in a cupboard and went out and played the way I have played throughout my career and which I have not played in the last couple [of years]. I was frustrated I had not got to that mindset earlier but it was a very nice feeling," Roy concluded his point.
2022 was not a great year for Roy. In 23 matches, he scored 541 runs at an average of 25.76. He could score only one century and two fifties last year, with best of 101*.
England has very limited opportunities to prepare themselves for the 2023 World Cup in India. After this three-match ODI tour to SA, the tour of Bangladesh will be their last 50-over series till September, when New Zealand and Ireland will visit for three ODIs each.
Roy does not feel that his return to form is a guarantee that his spot for WC squad is reserved now and feels one can get forgotten after a bad year.
"No, not at all, absolutely not, I do not see it that way. I have played a lot of games in my career, been around for a while now and even after a bad year you can get forgotten quite quickly. It is a case of keeping pushing, keeping this environment going in this culture we have in the team because it is a huge year ahead for us in 50-over cricket," said Roy.
"Hopefully [I will play the World Cup] but it is one step at a time. It is one game into a series, one game into the year in international cricket, so I have got to keep scoring runs and just building this team to the place where we were at back in 2019."
"It has been a horrible year - it is not how you start the year, it is how you finish it. I think I started last year pretty nicely and then things went downhill from there. I have just got to stay positive and keep pushing," concluded Roy.
Roy gave a little hint of returning to form during his stint in SA20 with Paarl Royals, in which he had best score of 33 in eight matches. He credited Jos Buttler, his Paarl teammate as someone who helped him keep his head level.
"I have got a great relationship with Jos on and off the field, we speak very honestly with each other and spending the last couple of weeks with each other at the SA20 league has helped. I had a lot of thoughts and opinions and how I felt my last year had gone, and those conversations were great and it allowed me to free myself up for this innings I just played," concluded Roy.
England and South Africa will square off in 2nd ODI on Sunday. (ANI)