In his first Sky Sports column, Jason Roy discusses his excitement ahead of the first Ashes Test, a memorable debut against Ireland and why the final moments of England’s World Cup final win still haunt him…
I loved my first experience of Test cricket last week! It was certainly an interesting first hour of my Test career! We were down and out but we stayed positive and managed to get a win.
The first and last hours of that Test match were as good cricket as you’ll ever see – it was just unbelievable and must have been so good to watch as a viewer.
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It was a very strange feeling so soon after winning the World Cup, though, because I don’t think I’ve quite settled down yet as far as letting it sink in. It hasn’t really hit home yet.
The final was unbelievable and in the Super Over, it felt like every ball was coming my way.
I was mentally switched on for them all, the first one took a bobble and I fumbled it, the next one I threw to the wrong end, that happens, and the third one, I knew if the ball came to me, they had to get two runs so I was able to stay a bit calmer and just get it in.
17:53 Watch the pick of the action as England beat New Zealand in an incredible finale to the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.
It haunts me to think that if I’d fumbled that one then we’d have lost the World Cup. That’s a really scary feeling, to be honest, knowing that it all rode on that one throw. It was pretty surreal, it really hasn’t sunk in.
Walking out against Ireland at Lord’s just a few days later was incredible though, especially doing it with Rory Burns as well, who I’ve played with for years at Surrey.
Everything about it was incredibly special, from being given my cap by Alastair Cook to winning – it was pretty special.
You go through from the start of the year, having my first child to winning the World Cup, then being called into the Test team and I’m about to play my first series in the Ashes. I don’t think I’m ever going to have another year like it!
I walked off very happy with 72 in the second innings, having got the boys into a good position and then, unfortunately, getting out. It definitely wasn’t one of my most fluent innings – it wasn’t the pitch for a fluent innings.
But I played in the way that I wanted to, there was a ball with your name on it out there, I wanted to be nice and positive and I knew by being positive there might be a few scratchy shots but it was better than being defensive on that sort of wicket.
I was happy with my mindset, happy with my executions so I’ve got a few positives to take from it even if it was a scratchy innings and it came at No 3 because Jack Leach took my opening spot after the first innings!
Naturally, I’ve seen a few things about where I should bat in Test cricket but no one can really say, I certainly can’t say until I’ve done it.
Until I’ve opened the batting and succeeded or not done as well as I hoped then maybe I can say ‘well maybe down the order is better suited for me’, likewise if I’m batting in the middle-order and I’m not succeeding, just chuck me in at the top of the order and see if that works.
England vs Australia
August 1, 2019, 10:00am
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I think there is always going to be talk surrounding it but then there is talk about pretty much every batsman in the line-up and where they should bat or whatnot. It’s all very interesting chat but ultimately time will tell, especially with me as I haven’t played very much Test cricket.
Josh Hazlewood has made me really feel part of an Ashes series already though with a few comments this week. But he hasn’t said anything untoward or rude or anything like that, he’s just said that Test cricket is a step up and he’s right.
He’s basically stating the obvious, he hasn’t come out and said anything disrespectful. It’s all fine, I’m not shying away from the fact that there will most likely be some digs throughout the series. That’s what Ashes cricket is about.
0:54 Roy says he is unfazed by comments from Australia's Josh Hazlewood questioning whether he can make the step-up to Test cricket
I’ve had a lot of stuff said to me in the past from opposition players, from the media, everyone and it is perfect coming into an Ashes after going through all that sort of stuff. It’s just water off a duck’s back, to be honest.
Throughout my career, I’ve always tried not to look back too far but in every Ashes series that you watch there are instances where it just grips you. The 2005 Ashes is the iconic one, the way they went about their batting, especially KP, was awesome. Getting on the front foot against the Aussies is something that’s not easy to do.
I get more excited by looking forward and I’m excited by what this series holds for us, what individuals can do and what memories we can make.
When my time comes to walk out at Edgbaston, mentally I’ll just approach it exactly the same way that I approach my one-day stuff. I’ve opened the batting for a number of years now for England and in the last couple especially, I walk out thinking I just need to trust my training and go for it, enjoy it.
I’ll be simplifying my game a huge amount for Test cricket, I won’t have the array of shots that everyone is probably used to until I get myself in. It’s a case of keeping it simple, enjoying the time, enjoying the battle and enjoying facing an extremely good bowling attack.
In England, the bowlers are probably under more pressure than the batters purely because it is more bowler friendly. However, it is the Ashes, Edgbaston is a good ground for us and there are loads of reasons to look forward to Thursday!