Eoin Morgan backs England’s bowlers to shine

Published: Friday 19th February 2016 by The News Editor

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Eoin Morgan is pinning just as many hopes on England’s bowlers as their big-hitting batsmen.

As the stakes begin to rise for Morgan’s team en route to next month’s ICC World Twenty20, it is easy to identify a wealth of explosive batsmen in their ranks who can turn any game.

But it is tempting to wonder, in the absence of Steven Finn as he continues his recovery from injury while England face two matches against South Africa on Friday and Sunday, whether their weakness may be with the ball.

Morgan, however, does not see it like that.

In the much-improved Adil Rashid and spin partner Moeen Ali, as well as the left-arm seam-and-swing variations provided by Reece Topley and David Willey, the captain identifies options and potential rather than vulnerability.

“I think this attack can win games for us,” said the Irishman.

“With the spin department covered, and the two left-armers coming in and being a threat up front, it adds a huge dynamic to our game.

“A big strength is the fact we do bat deep. But with these strings to our bow (with the ball), it makes us a bigger threat.”

England skipped practice on the eve of the first Twenty20 at Newlands, having beaten South Africa A in Paarl the previous evening, in favour of a recreational day towards the end of what has been a long tour for many of their first-choice players.

Of them, all-rounder Ben Stokes is a critical component to balance the team.

He, like Joe Root and Moeen, is expected to be back for two matches in three days – with Morgan spelling out that England must pick their best team here to avoid conceding momentum they will need at the start of a global tournament.

“Our best team at the moment, we’re very close to selecting it or having a really good idea of what it is – which is good, considering we’re a few weeks out from a World Cup,” said Morgan.

“Nobody will be rested over the next two games.

“They are games we really want to win.”

Morgan’s opposite number Faf du Plessis is content to play more of a waiting game, with an extra three fixtures to follow against Australia before South Africa set off for India.

“I see these games just about giving most of the guys game time,” he said.

“You can’t always guarantee everyone to play … it’s just about trying to get the guys ready and feeling good before that first match starts in the ‘World Cup’.

“It’s not always about the best thing for now – it’s about looking ahead.”

Published: Friday 19th February 2016 by The News Editor

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