• Morgan praises Roy’s ‘aggressive, authoritative way’

    Captain Eoin Morgan has asserted that England will be buoyed by the fine form displayed by opening batsman Jason Roy, going into Thursday’s World Cup opening fixture against South Africa at The Oval in London.

    Roy struck a solid 89 not out from a mere 46 deliveries in Monday’s warm-up match win over Afghanistan at The Oval in London. Earlier this month, the South African-born right-hander gathered 87, 76 and 114 in a five-nil ODI series sweep against Pakistan.

    ‘It does a huge amount for confidence when Jason is hitting it as well as that. It imposes our game on the opposition and feeds right through the changing room. The aggressive, authoritative way he plays builds a lot of confidence,’ said Morgan.

    Roy has been well partnered by fellow opening batsman Jonny Bairstow this year. Bairstow hit a century for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League – and another in the the third ODI against Pakistan in Bristol.

    ‘And Jonny is the same. When you play as convincingly as that, it builds confidence in the hard work you’ve done, both in training and in the game. And it gives us the afternoon and evening to switch off,’ added Morgan.

    England exited the 2015 World Cup following the group stage after just two wins in six attempts. They have since risen to first position in the International Cricket Council’s rankings for ODI teams – and will enter the 2019 tournament among the favourites.

    ‘In 2015, we had just come out of the tri-series where Australia beat us up and down Australia. We beat India once, which got us through to the final, but we were beaten again there. We were constantly trying to find a formula that might work in the group stages. We were having a lot of meetings and chats,’ added Morgan.

    ‘It’s a huge compliment to be considered favourites this time. I would much rather that, than not even be considered as contenders.’

    Photo: Getty Images

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