Jason Roy took pride in shutting out the noise about his place in the England side as he dug deep to help them secure an ODI series win over Bangladesh with a hundred.
Roy ended a horrendous run of form both for England and domestically with a century in South Africa in January but had been out for single figure scores in his three international innings since then.
He struggled for fluency in tricky conditions in Dhaka, barely finding the middle of the bat early on, but gradually found some rhythm en route to compiling 132 off 124 balls with 18 fours and one six.
His score formed the backbone of England’s 327 for six before Sam Curran and Adil Rashid each took four wickets to help the tourists to a 132-run victory after Bangladesh were all out for 194 in 44.4 overs.
“Every single ton means the absolute world,” Roy said. “Some hundreds in the past, maybe you get to 40 and it just feels really free-flowing and then you’re on 100.
“Every run, every boundary that I scored was a bit of a scrap. I’ve been putting in the work and staying focused, keeping my head down and trying to ignore a lot of the smoke that’s been around my form.
“I’m my biggest critic, I understand I’ve not been in the greatest of form, but I’ve been playing decent cricket, I’ve been playing nicely and hitting the ball well, so I felt it was just a matter of time.
“South Africa, obviously was a big weight off my shoulders, but to come in here with a completely different skillset was very pleasing.”
Roy shared a 109-run stand with Jos Buttler, who scored 76 while late cameos from Moeen Ali (42) and Sam Curran (33) helped England add 107 in the last 10 overs before they subdued Bangladesh, who slipped 2-0 down with one to play to guarantee a first ODI home series loss since 2016.
This was Roy’s 12th ODI hundred and first in the subcontinent, a timely innings given conditions might resemble what England may face when they defend their World Cup crown in India later this year.
“To come here on slow turners where it’s a bit inconsistent, as far as your skillsets go as a batsman, it’s as rewarding as it can get, scoring runs in these sorts of conditions,” Roy said.
“I’m very happy with that. Fortunately, this knock has helped my case [for the World Cup], to keep me there or thereabouts.
“But I’ve played a lot of cricket and along the way, with the summer I’ve got ahead, there’s a lot of cricket to dictate what they decide to do at the World Cup. But at no stage has it really been at the top of my head.”
Roy, who now sits third on the list of English batters with the most ODI centuries alongside Marcus Trescothick, revealed he took some inspiration from Dawid Malan’s match-winning century on Wednesday.
On that occasion, Roy lofted to mid-on in the first over of England’s chase before Malan showed the way, moving through the gears masterfully after soaking up pressure to oversee a three-wicket win.
“Once I stuck that one up in the air to mid-on in the first game and watched Mala and the way he went about his innings, I quickly realised stuff I already knew,” Roy added. “But it was a reminder to switch on, put my head in and bat some time.
“I made a silly mistake then and I was hungry to make some runs. For me it was just time at the crease. I knew that if I was to bat that amount of time, I’d be on a lot of runs as well, it’s as simple as that.”