Roy has shown decent form so far in the T20 series in India, with scores of 49 and 46 going into tomorrow’s third match.
In 2020, he struggled with form and injury, scoring just 49 runs in six ODI innings in the English summer, then failing to fire in the shortened tour of South Africa.
But Roy believes playing in front of crowds while representing Perth Scorchers in Australia’s Big Bash has reinvigorated him.
“The last year has been a huge learning curve,” said the World Cup-winning opener. “I think dealing with emotions off the field, with everything going on with Covid, bubble life and all this stuff that can really cloud your judgement and really make you overthink a few things has been a huge learning curve.
“So I feel that’s behind me and now I’m looking forward to the next innings. I’m not trying to look too far ahead to the World Cup, just on this series and the next game.
“I am feeling good. I’m training really well and in the nets feeling full of confidence, and that’s half the battle with professional cricket. You’ve got to feel confident and happy in yourself. Since the Big Bash, I’ve started really loving my cricket again, which is a nice feeling, and I’m going out there and playing in front of 60,000 adoring, screaming Indian fans, which is second to none really, that feeling.
“I never stopped loving the game – I think just the whole year that has just gone, no crowds being around, everything that is going on around the game that is so much bigger than the game just puts loads of stuff in perspective.
“Then you add on top of that your own personal work not going quite as well as you want it to, it can get really on top of you. I hadn’t played enough cricket, that was the simple thing so I needed to play in the Big Bash – I knew it was a long tournament but then the moment I got there the first game I had 20-odd people watching me in the nets and I had a sense of an adrenalin rush and belonging again and it was the most incredible feeling.
“I never fell out of love with the game but playing in front of crowds makes you realise that they mean a huge amount of us as sportsmen.”
Almost seven years and 40 matches since his debut, Roy has his eye on becoming the third English man, after Alex Hales and Dawid Malan, to score a T20i century.
“It’s my job, as an opener in the first six, in the powerplay,” he said. “I’d start off by saying it’s been a bit of a stop start T20 international career, really. I haven’t quite got going properly, with those big scores, no hundreds. So that’s my target. My mindset is to go out there and get the best possible start for the team, put aside what I might be feeling. My job is to not mess about, really.
“To score a hundred in the T20 format, you have to be ultra-aggressive. You’re looking at facing a maximum of 60 balls, really. But more often than not you’ve got to go up the gears. Start in sixth gear up to the sixth over, then go down the gears, then up again. It’s a mixture of aggression and pretty calculated stuff if you want to get those big scores.”