Jason Roy relishing England opening partnership with Jonny Bairstow
Last Updated: 11/10/18 6:22pm
Jason Roy hopes his record-breaking opening partnership with Jonny Bairstow will continue to flourish and bolster England's standing as the best ODI side in the globe.
The pair shared an opening stand of 49 in the first ODI against Sri Lanka before rain forced the match to be abandoned after just 15 overs, becoming the first English pair to put on 1,000 ODI runs together in a calendar year.
Their mark of 1,009 also makes them the most productive partnership in the world in 2018, sitting 236 ahead of Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq.
"That's a nice stat, a beautiful stat, something to keep working on," said Roy.
"I just think we are both free-flowing batsmen who go out there, express ourselves and look to take it to the bowlers. He has got different scoring areas to me and the bowlers have to come in and bowl separate deliveries to both batters. It's all good foundations for the World Cup."
England, put into bat in Dambulla, had limited opportunity to assess Sri Lanka's varied bowling attack but Roy admits the team will need to adjust quickly to the threat posed by the hosts.
"It was liquorice allsorts," said Roy, who was caught at mid-off as he miscued spinner Akila Dananjaya as he attempted to hit over the top.
"[Lasith Malinga] is very different. I've only faced him once before but he doesn't give you much angle to work with.
"He almost did me with his slowie but we'll see, it's a long series. I'll probably do some work against the side-arm (ball-thrower) to try to combat that lack of angle. We're used to bowlers bowling wide of the crease but he doesn't give you a huge amount."
While Roy's focus remains on cementing his place in England's limited-overs plans, he has not given up hope of breaking into the Test set-up before the 2019 Ashes.
The 28-year-old hit 128 for county champions Surrey in his final first-class knock of the season and has been picked for England Lions' four-day 'Test' against Pakistan A next month.
"It's a good opportunity for me to go and showcase some skills there. I have still got a huge love for the (longer) game," he said.
"It is a very pure form and I enjoy going out there with no ambitions at scoring at eight an over! It is quite nice just to stand there and bat and watch the ball."
Watch the second ODI between Sri Lanka and England live on Sky Sports Cricket (channel 404) from 4.45am on Saturday.
Comment below to get involved in the debate, but please adhere to our House Rules. If you wish to report any comment, simply click on the down arrow next to the offending comment and click 'Report'.