Morgan fixed on attacking mindset

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Published: Monday 15th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Eoin Morgan’s England are unbowed by their defeat against New Zealand in Southampton, and will stick to their guns in the remainder of the Royal London Series.

The hosts won the first match of five at Edgbaston but must now prevail in the final two as well to salvage a series success, after going 2-1 down.

The obvious shortcoming of their performance at the Ageas Bowl was an inability to bat their full 50 overs – although they still topped 300 in the 45.2 they managed to see out.

Their captain was one of three batsmen to pass 50 in a total of 302 all out, and was unrepentant afterwards about England’s aggressive approach – even after Kane Williamson (118) and Ross Taylor (110) shared a record double-century stand to help the Kiwis poke their noses in front with a three-wicket win.

Asked if failing to see out their overs is an occupational hazard of England’s new era, Morgan said: “From time to time, it will (happen).

“It’s not a huge thing for me that we have to bat 50 overs; it doesn’t disappoint me.”

More important to the Irishman is that England are not spooked into retreat from the new methods they have devised, following last winter’s World Cup embarrassment.

“We’re trying to change our process and mind-set with the bat – which may take time.

“We’ve come a long way in the last three games, scoring 300 plus in each of them – which is a huge achievement, and a big turnaround.

“I want the guys to continue with that mind-set, and not worry about batting 50 overs.

“I think that makes guys hesitate and question their natural way of playing. I don’t want that to happen.”

Morgan cites a third successive total in excess of 300 as evidence that England are still on the right track.

“For a long time we looked like getting 350 to 360.

“That’s a huge plus for us, because for a long time we’ve never even thought about getting that sort of score.”

He was in no doubt three hours later either as to where England had lost a match in which they dropped Taylor three times.

“I think with the ball,” he said.

“The partnership between Kane and Ross hurt us.

“I think if we’d got one of those wickets early, it would have opened up their middle order a little more.

“Grant Elliott hasn’t had a lot of time in the middle, and the new guy (Mitchell) Santner hasn’t played a lot of cricket.

“If we could get through their very experienced top four, it gives us a little bit of a chance.

“So that’s where it cost us.”

England lost their last four wickets for 15 runs, but Morgan said of the end product of their innings: “It wasn’t bad.

“We certainly weren’t out of the game. Three hundred runs is a lot to score, and I think it was a harder wicket to actually get in on than the Oval (on Friday).

“It could have opened up a lot of doors, having had them two down early … but you have to give credit where it’s due.

“They played pretty well, didn’t give us many chances – and when we did get a chance, we didn’t take it. That’s disappointing.”

Williamson too believes England, by whatever means, set the tourists a testing target.

“Any score as big as that is a real challenge, and it requires a full team batting performance to chase it,” he said.

“Scoring 300 second is probably harder than scoring it first, in terms of trying to make the calculations along the way.

“England have been batting and playing really well – and they did again today.

“It was a great game of cricket.”

Even so, he agreed that bowling England out inside the overs was a significant factor.

“It was an improved bowling effort (from us).

“To bowl them out before the 50 overs was key – they were on track for a few more runs … and it was nice to restrict them.”

Published: Monday 15th June 2015 by The News Editor

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