It says a lot about England’s ODI team since the 2015 World Cup, and the strides they have been taking to be at the cutting edge in the format, that you can forget just how good Jason Roy has been. The Surrey opener played his first ODI against Ireland in the first match after that awful World Cup and has been a near ever-present player since. He has scored 2748 runs in that time to put him in the top 20 of England ODI run-scorers of all time. Of the others in the top 20, only Jos Buttler has a higher strike rate than Roy’s 105.
He is also the man with the highest score for an England player in ODIs when he made 180 against Australia in early 2018. He has looked set for the first England double ton in the format more than once. It would be foolish to bet against him getting there at some point.
His opening partnership with Jonny Bairstow has taken England’s batting to another level, so much so that Alex Hales’ absence after his failed test for recreational drugs shouldn’t present England with too many issues if they can both stay fit.
The slight worry for England is that Roy hasn’t been at his most fluent best in the early part of the English season, struggling for Surrey in the One Day Cup. He made 87 in the second ODI against Pakistan at Southampton, but it was an innings of a man finding his way back to good form rather than one who making scoring look easy, but runs are runs. He put on 115 with Bairstow for the first wicket in that game as England piled on 373/3. More of the same will see England very well placed in this World Cup.