Opener Jason Roy expects things to get “very feisty” when England players go head to head in their final Twenty20 warm-up in Mumbai today.
After beating New Zealand by six wickets in their first practice fixture, England have one more chance to hone their skills in Indian conditions before their first group game against the West Indies.
A team of locally-based players has been laid on to provide opposition, but England coach Trevor Bayliss will bolster their ranks with the four squad members he does not select in his own XI.
While that promises to up the ante – and guarantees the entire squad feature before the real action starts – it should also create some competitive tension on the field.
“There are four of our guys playing against us so no doubt they will be putting a huge shift in,” said Roy, who can be sure of lining up at opener in the England side.
“We’ve had inter-squad games and stuff for my county, Surrey, and also internationally. It does get very feisty, very aggressive,” said Roy.
“You might fall out for the night but we’re all mates so it’s all good.
“I’ll take it the same as the New Zealand game – a bit of match time, taking what I have been working on into a game situation. It doesn’t really matter who you are playing against, it’s just the environment of being in the middle of the stadium and taking it all in.”
Roy top-scored against the Black Caps at the Wankhede Stadium, hitting seven boundaries and two sixes in a 36-ball 55.
It was a much-needed return to form for the 25-year-old, who had a lean time of it in his native South Africa over the winter.
In the five-match one-day series he averaged just 19.2 and he then fell for 15 and nine in two Twenty20s against the Proteas.
He puts those struggles down to demanding too much, too soon from himself at the crease.
After a fortnight clearing his mind back home in London, Roy believes he has found the right balance.
“I just didn’t get going like I’m used to in South Africa,” he admitted.
“(Opening the batting) is a nice role to have, however you can put too much pressure on yourself like I did.
“I put too much pressure on myself to go out there and whack it from ball one. I’ve got to realise I need to give myself time, I’m not a robot.
“As well as enjoying myself and whacking it I need to give myself a chance, work hard and accumulate runs.
“A bit of tactical nous instead of just trying to bludgeon the ball is something I’ve learned a huge amount about in the last two and a half weeks. Mentally I’ve been getting myself ready for that back at the Oval.
“In South Africa I should have just freed myself and enjoyed myself instead of expecting to get runs. That’s what I’m doing now, just going into each game and going ball by ball.”
Like Roy, England as a team are looking to rebound from some modest returns in the white-ball leg in South Africa.
Having won the Test series and the first two one-day internationals, the tourists ended the tour on a five-match losing streak.
“We didn’t really do as well as we’d hoped,” said Roy.
“We played some poor cricket in amongst some good cricket, but mostly poor. So the next couple of weeks are huge for us to turn it round.”
Ireland ended a disappointing ICC World Twenty20 campaign with a 12-run defeat to Holland in a match reduced to six overs due to rain in Dharamsala.
Out of contention to qualify for the Super 10 stage after a shock defeat to Oman was followed by a washout against Bangladesh, Will Porterfield’s side failed to chase 60 and finish with a morale-boosting triumph.
Ireland’s pursuit started well with 28 runs arriving from the first two overs, with Porterfield flicking the first ball for four and Paul Stirling hitting two sixes, but they were hampered by losing two wickets in as many balls on two occasions.
Kevin O’Brien was the victim of a brilliant full-length diving catch from Pieter Seelaar at deep midwicket, Stirling and Gary Wilson picked out short third man before Andrew Poynter holed out first ball.
With 25 runs required from 12 deliveries, Mudassar Bukhari conceded only five from the penultimate over to leave too much to do from the last, bowled by man of the match Paul van Meekeren, whose 4-11 restricted Ireland to 47-7.
Left-arm spinner George Dockrell was key to Ireland, who won the toss before a lengthy delay due to the wet weather, restricting the Dutch to 59-5 by claiming 3-7 from his two overs.
Holland’s Stephan Myburgh struck 27 from 18 balls.