Batsman Jason Roy believes England can handle the pressure of an expectant home crowd at the forthcoming Cricket World Cup.
England are favourites to win the tournament, which is returning to the county for the fifth time.
Despite frequently playing host to one-day cricket’s premier competition, most recently in 1999, England have yet to win any of the three finals in which they have competed.
But Roy insists boisterous home support will only improve - rather than intimidate - the team.
“I think going into the tournament as number one is the biggest pressure, being at home is a draw for us,” he told Yahoo Sport UK. “We can get a lot of confidence from the crowd, our recent game at Trent Bridge was incredible and almost got us home there so hopefully that can continue.”
England’s preparation has been good, with seven one-day international wins from their last eight matches - including a 4-0 series win over Pakistan this month.
“We had four good games there and we played extremely well and everyone chipped in with great performances,” said the South African born batsman.
“So it was a really good, positive sign going forward for us going into a major competition.”
A change in tournament format means all teams will be in one World Cup group during the first stage of the tournament, something the 28-year-old doesn’t think will have any impact on the eventual outcome.
“I’ve said it before, we look at it game by game to be honest, whether we are in a pool or in groups or whatever, we just go game by game,” he said.
“South-Africa is our first game and all our eggs are in that basket.
“Anyone on their day can have a good day and overcome anything so it’s going to be an incredible tournament, incredible teams, incredible players. I’m buzzing for it.”
Barbados-born all-rounder Jofra Archer has been included in the squad in place of David Willey after some impressive performances in the recent ODI series with Pakistan and Roy feels the 24-year-old will be able to handle the pressure.
Roy added: “He has played a lot of cricket already under big pressure environments, defending runs, opening up, hitting runs as well and building well so he has come in, in an England shirt debut, but he has had a lot of experience in the past.
“He has a calm head on him, he works extremely hard so it’s going to be a good tournament for him, I can feel it.
“Everyone that has come in and out of the squad knows that it is such a special environment, we welcome everyone, Jofra will say the same thing, that when he came in he was welcomed with open arms.”
Roy has been in fine form with the bat, scoring a century on his last appearance despite dashing to hospital with his ill two-month-old daughter the night before.
When asked about his own form coming into the tournament, the Surrey County star put it down to a positive frame of mind.
“I feel good, mentally I’m in a good place so that is the main thing for me. All the physical stuff looks after itself, all my training and batting and whatever, but yeah I feel good and mentally in a good space.”
England begin the World Cup against South Africa at the Oval on the 30th May.
Featured from our writers: