Taylor backs Morgan to thrive

Published: Friday 9th January 2015 by The News Editor

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England batsman James Taylor believes new one-day captain Eoin Morgan is the “strong leader” needed to drive the side forward.

The squad convened in Australia this week without former skipper Alastair Cook, whose chronic lack of form saw him cut adrift and replaced with Morgan on the eve of the World Cup.

The Dubliner only has this month’s Carlton Bank Tri-Series against the host nation and India to put his stamp on a team that has struggled to find a winning formula in 50-over cricket.

But Morgan is an entirely different character to Cook, having made his name as a dynamic short-form player rather than a Test lynchpin, and Taylor is confident he is the man to inspire a change in fortune.

“It’s an exciting time for England under Morgs, it’s a new era,” he said.

“We’re all looking forward to playing under him. I know the kind of guy he is, he’s a strong guy and I’m sure he’ll be a strong leader too.

“He’ll be very similar to the way he bats: exciting and aggressive.

“I have played under him in a couple of ODIs against Ireland and he’s a great captain.”

Cook might find it hard to share in the sense of enthusiasm as he broods on his axeing and watches the side he led for three-and-a-half years on television.

But with the odds stacked against England in both the Tri-Series and the World Cup, the 15-strong squad who began their trip Down Under with a training session in Canberra on Friday cannot afford to ponder their former leader’s fate.

“It was a tough call but we’ve got to move on,” said Taylor.

“It’s something we can’t dwell on too much. You’re judged on performances and that’s what happened in the end with Alastair.

“Ultimately we’re all judged on performances and winning games and that’s what we’re aiming to do.

“We’re looking to get a bit of rhythm and form in the Tri-Series then in the World Cup who knows what we could do.”

Taylor has just six ODI caps to his name but booked his place on the plane by cracking 90 and 68 in successive innings in Sri Lanka last month.

Cook’s absence means a top-order shake-up is inevitable but what role the 25-year-old Nottinghamshire man has in it remains to be seen.

“Hopefully it does open up a spot for me to play but it’s up to me to take the opportunity if it does appear,” he said.

“I don’t know where I’ll be batting in the side, I’m just looking to get in the team. If it’s in the middle order or at number three I’m not really fussed as long as I’m playing.

“I had a brief little taster in Sri Lanka and hopefully I can go one step further to cementing my spot in Australia.”

England are in action on Monday, kicking off their trip with with a tour match against an ACT XI at the Manuka Oval.

Published: Friday 9th January 2015 by The News Editor

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