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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Jason Roy interview: On playing in the T10 League and needing to wait his turn with England

Batsman has designs on transferring skills in red ball cricket to the Test arena and is in the UAE to take part in Season 2 of the T10 League

Jason Roy hopes his recent form for England Lions in Abu Dhabi this week will help get him noticed by the England Test selectors.

Roy, an established opening batsman in the England’s limited-overs sides, scored 79 and 14 as England Lions lost to Pakistan A by four wickets in a four-day match at the Abu Dhabi Cricket Oval on Wednesday.

“I need to score big runs and wait my turn,” he said. “Got a decent knock batting first and got run out in the second after a bit of confusion between me and my mate.

“I would have liked to carry on and get some more runs but that’s how cricket goes some times. So just have to crack on, knuckle down, big opportunity for me, but my two innings are done.”

With Alastair Cook now retired Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings staked their claims to open the batting for England in the ongoing Test series with Sri Lanka, with Jennings scoring a century in the win in Galle and Burns notching scores of 43 and 59 as England secured the three-match series 2-0 in Kandy this week.

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Read more:

In pictures: Jason Roy in action for England Lions against Pakistan A in Abu Dhabi

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Smooth start to T10 League 2.0 proves lack of time a speciality

Team-by-team guide ahead of Season 2 of Sharjah tournament

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“Three is put on my radar and some of the other spots,” said Roy, who batted at No 3 against Pakistan. “They [England] have a pretty solid setup at the moment and I have to push for my place and see how it ends up.

“Wherever I get a chance to represent for my country and to do that I need to transform my game from the shorter to the longer game.

“For that, I need to bat longer and just score big runs. It’s the same sort of mantra, hitting the bad balls and blocking the good ones. It’s very simple. The colour of the ball changes but the mantra is pretty similar.”

Roy, 28, was to due to play for Nelson Mandela Bay Giants in the inaugural Mzansi Super League from November 16 to December 16 but had to pull out from it because of his Lions call-up.

“I was asked to come and play in this four-day game and obviously I was 100 per cent for that,” he said. “I’m going to take the opportunity of any chance to try and push my case to play Test cricket. Anyway I was going to play in the T10 [League] here [in Sharjah], so it works out well for me.”

The South African-born batsman will represent Bengal Tigers alongside Lions captain Sam Billings in the T10 League that got under way in Sharjah on Wednesday.

“Touring the world and playing the great game is a lot of fun," Roy said of playing franchise cricket. "I've got to just turn up and do the best of the team.”

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Prior to joining the Lions, Roy played a key role in England’s 3-1 win over Sri Lanka in the one-day series. He rounded off his tour with a match-winning 36-ball 69 to clinch the lone Twenty20 international too.

Roy believes England's good run of form can only be positive ahead of the World Cup which they host next summer.

“England need to stay focussed and level-headed with their feet on the ground,” he said.

“That’s what we have been doing for the last three to four years. We have been exceptional. Of course there has been some ups and down times. I think we need to stay level-headed and take the upward path.”