Last year's victory will 'spur us on' says Roy
THIS week sees Surrey swap their whites for the colour black as they begin their defence of the Clydesdale Bank 40, starting with a re-match of last year's final, against Somerset.
The Lions' leading CB40 run-maker in 2011, Jason Roy is keen to make amends for having an off day in the Lord's showpiece.
The 21-year-old only made 11, nicking off to the wicket-keeper just as the rain began to intensify. Asked what he was thinking as he walked off, Roy said: "I just though: 'you idiot'."
It was a rare low point. Centuries against Warwickshire and Leicestershire saw him become the first batsman in ten years to make back-to-back one-day hundreds for Surrey.
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Upon hitting the first of them, Roy became the youngest England-qualified batsman to reach three figures in all three codes of the game, something he still regards as being "pretty cool".
He said: "The first hundred was coming out of a bad place for myself, form wise, so I just tried to keep it simple, hit the ball hard and it felt amazing.
"It was a weird pitch because you looked at it and you thought it was pretty flat, but there was a bit of movement about. It changed my season around. In the next game I was just confident. I was myself again."
Being an instinctive batsman, one senses that confidence is a huge part of Jason Roy's make-up. "Confidence, for any batsman, is massive," says Roy. "If a batsman's got confidence, especially in the shorter format of the game, the only way you're going to get him out is if he plays a stupid shot.
"Every innings, when I go into bat, I have the same mental attitude - just to watch the ball and keep it simple. Sometimes I'll come to the crease, I'll play a few shots and I'll think okay I feel good now. But sometimes that's bad because I get a bit giddy and I try and hit too many shots. If I come in and I'm working hard, those are the days when I think I need to cash in."
In spite of everything, Roy has fond memories of his first Lord's final, particularly the moment when Matthew Spriegel hit the winning runs. "That was incredible, that was a good feeling," he said. "I think I almost fell off the balcony. It was fantastic for the side. I think we deserved it. It was like nothing I'd ever felt before. It didn't feel like a normal game. It really did feel like a Lord's final, especially before the game in the changing room.
"We took it as a normal game, though. We did everything the same, the mentality was the same. Unfortunately I didn't have much of a say, but for the boys to win that game, against such a good side, like Somerset are, was a fantastic accomplishment."
The draw for this year's competition has not been kind to the Lions. Five of the seven sides in Surrey's group are capable of progressing to the semi-finals.
"We've got a very hard group, but for a team like us it spurs us on," says Roy. "We're a young side, so coming up against stronger opponents will only make us play better. Mentally we've already beaten everybody, because we're that sort of team, we're strong-minded.
"All the boys are natural ball strikers and all the bowlers have enough experience. We've got a strong chance in all competitions with the side we've got at the moment. It's really exciting times for Surrey."