Jason Roy wants England to be worse at one-day cricket

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Still taken from Sky Sports
Still taken from Sky Sports

It’s happened again. Jason Roy wants to do things that will make England worse at cricket.

Ahead of the World T20, Roy appeared to lose sight of his role at the top of the order, which we likened to tinder. He said he wanted to give himself time, apparently unaware that any time he took would have to be stolen from his team-mates.

Similarly, talking about the 50-over game this week, he said: “I want to be that solid guy at the top of the order. Yes, quick 50s and 60s every now and then but big hundreds are at the forefront of my mind.”

That’s all well and good for Jason Roy, but if the best way of shaping his individual innings would be to exercise a degree of restraint early on, that’s not often going to be the best approach for the team innings.

Sometimes it might be, but by and large we’d suggest that England’s cause would be best served by Jason Roy hammering it from the off. When he does that, he not only intimidates the opposition, he also buys time for his team-mates down the order.

That gift is often vital. If everything goes smoothly and the team manages to employ the long handle throughout the innings, Roy’s initial pongo can be the difference between their total and the opposition’s. If there are hiccups along the way and there’s a need to stabilise the innings, quick early runs from Roy mean the middle-order has room for manoeuvre.

It’s not like Roy has a poor individual record anyway. Three hundreds in 36 innings is perfectly acceptable when combined with an average of over 40 and a scoring rate of over a run a ball. Why strive for solidity if it’ll round off the very edge that makes you so useful to the team?


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  1. I move that ‘Jason Roy is Tinder’ be made point #11 of the KC manifesto. He looks a technically-sound but big-hitting biffer likely to feature at the top of the order in at least two international formats for a few years, which is possibly a more enduring notion than, for example, the County Championship having exactly two divisions.

    1. It’s not a manifesto point that there should be exactly two divisions. We actually think there should be three. The manifesto point is that the two divisions we currently have should be regarded differently on account of their being different.

      1. Maybe so, but the fact it has exactly two at present is the key premise of manifesto point #10, which would have to be at least amended should this increase to three. Unless, of course, you couldn’t be arsed, and left future visitors to the Kingdom to infer that the second-division-not-counting meant that, of course, the third division also did not count. I’d not have an issue with that.

      2. You’d hope they’d appreciate the sentiment and not be too literal, but who knows?

        Don’t answer that. It was rhetoric.

      3. Was it? Was it really?!

        17 off 19 for our Jason today almost the perfect numbers to prove absolutely nothing.

  2. He’s never going to be a plodder. If Roy gets a century, you can be sure it will have been done quickly and everyone else will have enough time to do what they do.

    1. This is exactly the point. What about when he doesn’t get a century? What about when he’s out for 25 off 40 because he’s taken to playing himself in, aiming for a century?

      This is not his job. His job is not to give himself the best chance of making a hundred. His job is to give England the best chance of making a high score with individual hundreds of secondary importance.

      It starts with aiming to be ‘that solid guy’ and ends with 25 off 40.

      1. My point was that maybe he won’t ever play himself in. If he goes hard every time (matron) sometimes he will score a very quick hundred, sometimes he will score a very quick 25, sometimes he’ll get a duck.

      2. We get the impression from what he says that he’s looking to become more consistent. Erring on the side of caution is generally how that pans out.

        Doesn’t necessarily mean a big difference, but it’s an attitude that can keep on creeping.

  3. For Aussies like me you could replace the name “Roy” with “Finch” and it would resonate the same. Lately he has been fiddling around scoring 120 ball hundreds in losses when I would much rather see him get 40 ball 60s and let people like Smith ( Root) go deep.

    1. It’s the modern quandary. Players make their names doing one thing and then feel obliged to do more and become more ambitious, even when that compromises the very thing they’re known for.

      1. By ‘obliged’ do you mean ‘forcibly encouraged’ ie by coaches? Steven Finn case in point.

      2. Sometimes. Or sometimes just because they operate in an environment where people are encouraged to strive for constant improvement.

        Improvement for Roy would be doing his current job better. The same volume of runs scored quicker would be an improvement, but somehow ‘more runs’ always seems to take precedence.

      3. It’s sort-of the sporting equivalent of the Peter Principle:


        The worst manifestation of it is taking your best player and promoting them to captain regardless of whether they show/have shown any leadership ability in the captaincy sense.

        I cite the cases of Botham and Pietersen, yer maj.

        The Roy ploy type-thing is a minor transgression compared with captaincy lunacy, but still a transgression, I agree.

        In elite cricket, these quandaries tend to be as much if not more player driven than management driven. The players are bound to be ambitious characters; you don’t get that far in a professional sport like cricket unless you have a fair bit of ego and ambition about you.

        Management often struggles to contain the excesses and sometimes makes matters worse by encouraging them inappropriately.

  4. I’m sorry to be off-topic here, but I need some help. I mentioned Bert Jr. the other day, so I thought maybe I could discuss this problem with you people here. As a fourteen-year-old, he is experimenting and trying to find his way in life, but this has taken a terrible turn.

    I know, I know. I’m a liberal person, and anyone is free to choose their own lifestyle according to their needs and desires. I wouldn’t have a problem with anyone else’s son being “that way inclined”, but until it happens to you, you will never know how hard it is to deal with. You have an image of the future, one in which your children are at least normal. I’m not saying that those people are not normal, but you know… oh god this is difficult.

    I caught him listening to country music.

    And not some sort of cross-over stuff that is only called country so that people in Tennessee will buy it. No, it was THIS.

    I tried a bit of aversion therapy. Almost uniquely, country music is its own aversion therapy. I played him Coward of the County – he thought it was a sad and moving exposé of the male reaction to sexual violence. I played him Islands in the Stream – he thought it was a great tune and added it to his playlist. I even tried Whitney Houston’s version of I Will Always Love You – he said it was a great song but it lacked the emotional depth of the original, a depth that can only come from the experience of life growing up in the American south.

    What can I do! Just last night he downloaded Garth Brooks Greatest Hits. I’m scared this will end up with The Bellamy Brothers, or even (I hesitate even to say it) Dr Hook.

    1. The cruelty of a child’s rebelliousness truly knows no bounds.

      The only viable method we can think of is to feign a love of country music yourself. That should put him on the straight and narrow, steering him towards far less abhorrent genres like gangsta rap or death metal.

    2. Agree with KC here. If you also arrive home wearing cowboy boots, a waistcoat, a shoe-lace tie and a Stetson, it might not be too late to turn the tide. If you make it home, I mean ……

    3. My favourite quote on this topic is by Tom Lehrer:

      “I don’t like country music, but I don’t wish to denigrate those who do. And for those who do like country music, ‘denigrate’ means to put down.”

      Please do not denigrate Dr Hook, Bert. I am partial to Shel Silverstein’s work and several of his songs were interpreted very well by Dr Hook/Dennis Locorriere – not least Sylvia’s Mother, The Ballad of Lucy Jordan and The Cover of the Rolling Stone.

      For maximum aversion therapy, I’d suggest The Combined Harvester Song by the Wurzles. If the boy claims that he only means “miserablist country”, play him Honey by Bobby Goldsboro.


      If that doesn’t work, we might need to entertain the possibility that there is simply no hope for the lad.

    4. Thanks for the advice everyone. I can’t help thinking that it might in some way be my fault, but I’ve always tried to bring him up properly. I have told him repeatedly to promise me not to do the things I’ve done, to walk away from trouble if he can. I’ve told him to follow his dreams, because otherwise he’ll end up in a dreary job he doesn’t like, and working nine to five ain’t no way to make a living. And most importantly, as a way of showing respect to his elder relatives, in family photographs I have told him to “stand by your nan.”

      How could this possibly have happened?

      1. It could have been worse Bert old boy. If you live in my neck of the woods he might have put theory into practice and discovered line dancing.

  5. In other news…

    …during February on this site we had several bants about meat and tatty pie/pasty barms. A seemingly obscure subject, kicked off by KC’s weird experience with halloumi and tomato barms (and indeed some similarly maladjusted Staffordshire oatcakes) in some fancy-pants caff in Treacle Town.

    Now, it seems, the KC community has inadvertently kicked off some sort of a Twitter storm that has taken over the conventional media:


    Viral, I think might be the word for it.

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