Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Former Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara has offered some advice to England opener Jason Roy, telling him to stay calm and stick to the basics.
Roy has featured in both of England’s Champions Trophy matches thus far, but only scored 14 runs at an average of seven.
Despite his struggles, England captain Eoin Morgan has made it clear that he will keep opening the batting throughout the tournament.
“I feel a bit sorry for Jason,” Sangakkara said on Sky Sports. “I’ve played with him at Surrey for three seasons and he’s a fantastic player and a very important player for the England cause.
“Sometimes it’s not just about being mentally strong and imposing and walking with a swagger, it’s also about being mentally skilled and being very smart – reading situations and pitch conditions, and the state of your game when you are in.
“I think Jason has just been slightly confused at times – sometimes taking the wrong options and trying to do a bit too much, probably thinking about how he’s batted before and trying to rediscover that form.”
Sangakkara added that it would do Roy a world of good to remove all the distractions from his mind and just focus on his batting.
“He just needs to keep things simple and moving along by rotating strike and maybe allowing Alex Hales to take the lead and scoring runs to give the innings the impetus and momentum that it needs,” the 39-year-old said. “He can maybe take a backseat and allow himself to get into rhythm and get into form.
“Form is also a lot to do with mind-set and timing. Sometimes when you say a batsman is out of form you see him struggling for timing; but in my view timing is not just about a guy walking in and pushing gently at the ball and you see it flying to the boundary, every day you feel different.
“You wake up, your body might be stiffer, your body might be different, the bowling might change. So when you do walk into bat and you use the term give yourself some time and play yourself in, it actually means in my mind allowing yourself the time to fall into rhythm, into sync with how you feel that day, with how the field is set, the pace of the wicket and the pace of the bowling.
“Some days it falls into place immediately. On others you might struggle for half-an-hour or an hour then suddenly it all clicks. You just need to be smart enough to understand that and give yourself that time.”
The Sri Lankan great also pointed out that it is crucial Roy backs himself instead of retreating into his shell and changing his style of play.
“Sometimes the role that you are expected to play of being the batsman that gives England a fast start, that dominates the bowling and looks for boundaries from ball one,” he said. “Sometimes that can actually confuse you. Sometimes you can believe in the hype and think that’s exactly how you must play every day no matter what the conditions. Again, it is vitally important that you allow yourself some breathing time.”