Aggressive and shrewd. It is how this South African born English batsman can be described. Jason Roy is one among those rare openers, who can send the ball miles away from the middle, and at the same time, find onerous gaps with his classic strokes. He is an uncommon mix of both.
Everything started when the England team’s batting moved away from the lifeless road. That was the paradigm shift to the aggressive batting approach under Eoin Morgan’s captaincy. The transformation of the English team had a huge role in moulding Roy’s batting. The English team’s optimistic nature of looking for runs even at the murky situations has aided the English opener to become an outright accumulator for his side.
Accumulation of runs is never easy; it involves more risk. With more range of shots and vigorous intention to score runs, this English opener became an excellent commander for the job of risk-taking. Especially with his natural lofted stroke-making, Roy has etched his name in the list of nightmare batsmen for the bowlers.
“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”, said Joe Root on Jason Roy’s match-winning ODI knock of 162(118) against Sri Lanka in 2016
The lofted shots of Roy have never failed to grab our attention. Those shots have a mystic power that comes all of a sudden when the ball hovers over the ground level. But the effort he makes to bring the possibility of power is unseen, or it gets overshadowed with his elegant batting style.
So like other in-focus topics, let’s get into know the techniques involved. This time it is going to be about Jason Roy’s lofted drives.
The penchant for the Front foot and the bottom hand
A firm believer of the front foot. The length of the ball doesn’t matter to this English batsman. Be it a pull shot of a pacy short ball or a slogger sweep of a good length delivery from a spinner, Roy negotiates them firmly with the ball of his front foot and his strong bottom hand. The formula of the front foot and the bottom hand is the best to execute perfect weight transfer.
Flexible hip rotation
Shorter balls never fail to fly over the mid-wicket region when Roy is on the crease. Stupendous puller of the short balls. Hip rotation is the key to Roy’s modern-day pull shot. The England opener opens his body with the natural hip reflex to guide the ball towards the destination he chooses to go.
My favourite: His stylish way of slogging the ball on the rise from the good length spot to the cow corner region. And again, the hip reflex plays the significant role in this.
Bend at the back
The process of bending the back while completing the bat swing bolsters the shot with more energy. Not only the completion bend but the initial bend Roy used to bring with his core to get underneath the ball, gives him ample time to get ready for making adequate contact with the ball.
Quick bat swing
Jason Roy possesses the rare quality that Brendon McCullum had. Quick bat swing.
- It generates more power.
- Offers more time to judge the length and line of a delivery.
- And most importantly, adds more elegance to the shots.
With quick hands, the English opener remains an unstoppable batter even against the best bowlers in the business. Be it steaming pace or loopy spin, it’s never going to bother him much.
The exceptional ability in timing the ball makes Roy a better shot-maker anywhere around the park. Especially those lofted straight drives and cover drives, which requires most of the middling from the batsman. His knack of using the blade to communicate the ball with the sweet spot gives him more confidence to go over the fence.
You cannot add Jason Roy to the power-hitting openers list, because he means more than that. The quality of a perfect middle-order batsman lurks in him, and that can be seen through his gap picking ability. Being smart, even the lofted drives are directed over no man’s land or through the gaps. And that’s why he is found to be safe while finding runs.
“Make no mistake: I’d have Roy in my Test side. He’s an incredible talent, with plenty of confidence and swagger. He’s exactly the style of cricketer England are looking for. “- Nasser Hussain.
Even though Jason had nightmare Ashes in 2019, the former captain of England believes in the talent of Jason Roy. And it has a lot to do with his flamboyant techniques.
It all started to happen from Roy’s 162 against Sri Lanka in 2016; The buzz around him. Then things went on like a rolling snowball down a hill. And now he is a world cup champion for England.
Jason Roy came into international cricket as a whippersnapper, converted himself into an accumulator and currently he is an outright threat for the international bowlers.