Eoin Morgan: England reaching T20 World Cup final would be huge
Eoin Morgan believes England reaching the T20 World Cup final would rank among their best accomplishments after Jason Roy added his name to an extended list of absentees.
Roy will miss Wednesday’s semi-final against New Zealand because of a torn left calf as he joined Tymal Mills on the sidelines, with Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Sam Curran all unavailable for selection pre-tournament.
Morgan was reticent to discuss the identity of Roy’s replacement although Sam Billings has been tipped to come into the middle-order with Jonny Bairstow catapulted up from number four to open alongside the in-form Jos Buttler.
As they will be without several key figures, Morgan suggested they should not be heavily fancied in Abu Dhabi although he indicated that victory would be a significant moment for his team.
“I wouldn’t say strong favourites,” he said. “New Zealand have a full strength squad, we’ve obviously been hampered with a lot of injuries throughout this tournament.
“I think of all the things we’ve done well throughout this tournament, probably the strongest point has been the resilience within our squad to be able to find a way to move forward and forge on.
“We’re playing really good cricket, the guys are extremely excited about the challenge against New Zealand and potentially the opportunity that might follow that.
“You might only get to the final and lose but getting to the final would be a hell of an achievement. We can’t wait.”
Various options as Roy’s replacement
In such a circumstance David Willey would be favoured to supplement an attack where Moeen and Livingstone have been sharing duties as England’s ‘fifth’ bowler alongside three quicks and talismanic leg-spinner Adil Rashid.
“Within the group we’ve made a decision, I’m not willing to share that, unfortunately, but also the balance of the side will be determined on how the wicket looks and how we match-up against the Black Caps,” Morgan said.
“Replacing him with another bowler would mean that you have 28 genuine overs on the field and a lot of options. If you were to go with a batter, it would mean a like-for-like replacement.
“Depending if it’s a really good batting wicket, predicting if it’s going to be a really good batting wicket, we might need the extra bit of bowling. If it’s not, you might need the extra bit of batting.
“We’re lucky we have guys who queue up and want to bat in that top three which is great because they want to go head-to-head with the big-name players in the tournament and big-name bowlers in the opposition.”
Racism crisis back home
Despite suffering a first defeat of the campaign last time out against South Africa, England finished top of their Super 12s group to book a showdown against New Zealand, who finished behind Pakistan in their standings.
England will take to the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium amid an ongoing racism crisis back home surrounding Yorkshire and their former player Azeem Rafiq, a story that has made front and back page headlines in the last week.
Morgan spoke on Friday at how being at the forefront of a change in attitudes to racism in cricket would matter more to this England team “than any of our careers or any of the trophies that we win”.
This England side features players from different racial, cultural and religious backgrounds, and Morgan hopes that young fans from any environment might feel they could belong in the team.
“We feel comfortable about talking about things, simply because we think of ourselves as younger cricketers,” he added.
“We all want to be able to share our dream that we’ve dreamt about for so long as kids and have been so lucky to live that dream.
“We want young kids to be able to picture that but also picture a pathway in a way to be able to achieve it, so the things we do during this World Cup and beyond are very important in contributing to it.”
David Saker backs England bowlers to make splash at Twenty20 World Cup
He has been working closely with the team over the course of an entertaining back-and-forth series.
Phil Salt grateful for England backing after starring in big win over Pakistan
The opener had scored just 59 runs in his first five innings on tour but blazed 87 not out to guide England to victory over Pakistan on Friday.
Phil Salt powers England to emphatic win over Pakistan as series goes to decider
Opener Salt scored an unbeaten 88 as England won by eight wickets.
Unbeaten Babar Azam gives Pakistan shot at wrapping up England series
Babar held court throughout the 20 overs and guided his team to 169 for six.
Liam Norwell saves Warwickshire as Yorkshire suffer relegation to Division Two
Norwell’s career-best nine wickets for 62 runs sealed a five-run win over Hampshire on a thrilling final day of the season.
DCMS hearing on discrimination in cricket pencilled in for December 13
Azeem Rafiq and Lord Patel are set to be asked to appear.
England captain Jos Buttler ‘learning lots’ despite not playing in Pakistan
Buttler has a calf injury, which has ruled him out of the T20 series so far, but he insisted on travelling and has been observing throughout the trip.
We’re a better team than that – England’s batting disappoints Moeen Ali
The tourists were unable to make 146 in their Twenty20 chase against Pakistan.
Moeen Ali heroics in vain as Pakistan take series lead over England
The tourists failed to chase 146 in Lahore.
Warwickshire up against it to avoid relegation as Yorkshire nervously watch on
The Bears need to beat Hampshire to overhaul Yorkshire.