Morgan ready for long-term future as England limited-overs captain
Eoin Morgan remained non-committal about how long he will captain England but is optimistic about overseeing the next two T20 World Cup campaigns and did not rule out continuing to the defence of their 50-over crown in 2023.
Morgan took some time to contemplate his future in the weeks after leading England to a historic triumph following their victory over New Zealand in the final at Lord’s last July.
He was at the helm for their Twenty20 series win over New Zealand at the back end of last year, when the Irishman indicated he would like to continue in his position at this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
Ahead of the one-day international series against South Africa which marks the start of the cycle towards the next 50-over World Cup, Morgan believes he could be in situ for the 2021 T20 World Cup in India and possibly beyond.
“I’ve looked at the next two T20 World Cups and I feel in a good enough space right here and now to be able to say I’m hoping to be here for both of them,” he said on the eve of the first ODI in Cape Town on Tuesday.
“But things change, when you make decisions to stay on or continue, the majority of the time, that decision is taken out of your hands.
“For me it’s a matter of focusing on this year’s T20 World Cup, doing the best we can to put ourselves in a position to try to win it and then look beyond that as well.”
Morgan will be 36 by the time England travel to India to defend their crown in three years’ time but the Dubliner is bullish about how he has performed in recent years, as well as how he has matured as skipper.
The statistics corroborate this. Since the start of 2015, Morgan has averaged 43.6 with seven of his 13 ODI centuries coming in that time.
“Over the last four years I have been in the best form of my life,” he said. “The level of experience I have now has allowed me to grow in confidence as a leader and allowed me to be the best version of myself.
“And certainly making the decision towards the end of last summer things became clearer and more evident when I had time to think, sit back and reflect.
“Certainly coming back from New Zealand from five T20 internationals the way that I played and felt physically, I felt really good.”
Under Morgan, England’s one-day side underwent a seismic revolution after the shambles of their 2015 World Cup campaign but the build-up towards the next campaign will be characterised by evolution – and with more of an emphasis on the shortest format because of those two global competitions in the next couple of years.
Morgan did not name the side that will take to the field at Newlands on Tuesday but it is anticipated batsman Tom Banton and leg-spinner Matt Parkinson will make their ODI debuts as England seek to expand their talent pool.
Only Morgan, plus Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Joe Root and Chris Woakes are expected to retain their spot from the side that beat the Black Caps in last year’s nerve-shredding World Cup final at Lord’s.
On their last visit to South Africa in 2016, England lost the ODI series 3-2 despite winning the first two matches, and it is those memories, plus their T20 World Cup final defeat later that year, that drives Morgan on.
He added: “I don’t think for one instance that guys are taking the position we are in for granted but also they will look further beyond winning one World Cup.
“Days like the T20 World Cup final in 2016, losing down here in the fashion that we did the last time we were here, really do contribute to creating that drive moving forward.
“Us recognising things don’t last forever, and trying to make the most of it is extremely important because sides over the years have had unbelievably great individual players but actually haven’t won a great deal.
“We are very fortunate to have won something but the drive forward is extremely important.”
Morgan spoke shortly before England’s final training session, which got off to a false start as they posed for a team photo, with the famous Table Mountain backdrop obscured by smoke from outside the ground.
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