ANI Photo | “Felt they did not hit enough blows…”: WC winning skipper Morgan on England’s batting against NZ

England’s World Cup 2019 winning skipper Eoin Morgan said that the Three Lions batters got starts but it felt they did not hit enough blows throughout the innings. He also added that there is still “complete faith” in him that England will lift the trophy once again.
Defending champions England slipped to a crushing nine wicket loss in the tournament opener against New Zealand in Ahmedabad on Thursday. England made 282/9 powered by knocks from Joe Root (77) and skipper Jos Buttler (43). But centuries from Devon Conway (152*) and Rachin Ravindra (123*) completely demolished England’s three pronged pace and spin attacks to clinch a superb win.
“I do not think anyone could have foreseen the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 opener playing out quite like that,” said Morgan in his exclusive column as quoted by ICC.
Morgan pointed out that even if England manahed to score 30 more runs to get to a par score, they still did not bowl well enough to defend it. The former skipper also opined that the batters threw their wickets away.
“Enough England batters got starts but it never felt like they struck many blows throughout the innings. In many ways, New Zealand didn’t get them out, they got themselves out. But credit has to go to Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra played. Conway put England under pressure from the very first ball and for Ravindra to play like that on his World Cup debut was exceptional. He was pure class,” added Morgan.
Morgan said that fans have come to expect an attacking approach from Buttler-led English side but that approach was not visible in a strong way. Now this defeat he said, emphasises the way England needs to play further in the tournament.
“Their strongest suit going forward is to be more aggressive and I think that will be Jos’ message – ‘we need to go harder’,” he said.
Morgan said that one loss will not affect England’s campaign in any way. He also cited England losing three of their group stage matches in 2019 and still lifting the cup as something eight survivors of that squad can lean on.
From the 2019 WC winning squad, Buttler, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes, Root, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood have travelled to India for this World Cup.
“There is no side that goes from start to finish at a World Cup without experiencing some sort of adversity, whether it is losing games or having hiccups within games themselves. This will be no different,” he added.
Morgan said that as someone who has shared the dressing room with these players, he can say that there will be a lot of calm heads and honesty.
“Having shared a changing room with these guys, all the messages are built on a lot of thought and very rarely are there any flippant comments or people targeted. There is an awareness they are all in this together and collectively all trying to achieve the same plan by sticking to the same process,” he added.
Morgan said that he tipped England to win the competition at the start and he still has faith in them.
“I tipped England to win the competition in the build-up and I still have complete faith. Nothing about today’s performance worries me when it comes to believing they can win the trophy,” said Morgan.
“The advantage of having this format is that one bad day doesn’t ruin your tournament, when previously one bad day could have you home within a week. I still think they can and will win this World Cup,” he added.
However, he said that the return of Ben Stokes, who is currently facing a hip issue and missed the tournament opener, will be a key.
“The difference he makes is invaluable and there is no measure on the impact he has in a changing room. He believes he can achieve anything from any sort of circumstances and has backed that up in match-winning performances. He breeds confidence and belief,” he continued.
“After a defeat like that, he will no doubt be speaking in that changing room. His words hold a lot of weight because they are backed up by performance. He will have had a great view of the whole game and hopefully he’ll be back on the field as soon as possible,” he concluded.
He said that changes for England’s upcoming match against Bangladesh on October 10 will be dependent on conditions
“It is still traditionally a bit more seam-friendly, so there may be an opportunity for Reece Topley or David Willey, while if Stokes is fit he will obviously come straight back in,” he added.
On a personal level, he said, it is brilliant to experience all the immense excitment associated with the tournament and he is enjoying it way more as a fan.
“It is way more enjoyable being able to sit back and enjoy a World Cup as a fan. The focused nature and hard work you put in to deliver performances and wins as a player, I am definitely enjoying it more now. I was far more excited turning up to today’s game than I ever allowed myself to be as a player,” he added.
Morgan said that in his playing career, he did not engage in emotions as it hindered his performances and never let him become the player he was.
“It became a hindrance to my performance, being emotional when making decisions just didn’t work for me. Now, it is a pleasure and a privilege to sit back and watch these great players represent England in white-ball cricket,” he concluded. (ANI)

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