Morgan proud of England's back-up brigade

By Sports Desk July 15, 2021

England's second string have "done themselves a world of good" with their performances in the ODI series against Pakistan, says captain Eoin Morgan.

Ben Stokes returned early from an injury lay-off to captain a hastily assembled side in the three-match series after England's first-choice squad were forced to isolate due to a coronavirus outbreak.

However, with Morgan and Co watching on from the sidelines, England's back-up brigade impressed in a 3-0 series triumph – James Vince scoring his maiden ODI century as he led a record run chase at Edgbaston to secure the third victory.

England's star names have returned for the T20I series, which starts on Friday, though Saqib Mahmood, who was named player of the series, and Lewis Gregory have been rewarded for their performances.

"They've done themselves the world of good, to be honest," Morgan said when asked of the players who stepped up to fulfil the ODI series.

"The one thing you look at when guys come in and out is a marked improvement from the time they [first] get the opportunity to the time the next opportunity arrives. The two guys mentioned [Mahmood and Gregory] and Vince were outstanding.

"I think everybody within the group was extremely proud to watch them play like they did, simply because it's the biggest compliment you can pay to anybody who played in the World Cup group, and the way we've played in the last five years has had such an impact on the game.

"Guys recognise that opportunities are few and far between but, when they do come, the method that the team plays is starting to resonate with people around the country, which is great.

"Over the last six years, with the amount of cricket we play, you don't get to enjoy the cricket as much as you'd like. But sitting back and watching the guys [and] the way the guys played was hugely satisfying. They played an exciting brand of cricket, they really enjoyed themselves, and the result came with that. It was hugely beneficial."

 

England have triumphed in five of their past six T20I home outings, and finished 2020 with three successive wins, meaning a victory at Trent Bridge will match their longest winning run on home soil in the format.

However, Pakistan won the most recent meeting between the teams last September, a five-run victory in Manchester in a series which finished 1-1.

One player Morgan will be unable to call on is Stokes, who has been rested as he recovers from the finger injury which had been set to keep him out of white-ball action this month.

"He dug us out of a huge hole coming back early from his injury and I think leading the way he did is a huge compliment to the leader he is within our side, how mature he has been as a leader and now a captain," Morgan said of Stokes.

"We gave him every chance to be fit. He hasn't played a lot of cricket and he's had some 'R and R' at home and feels quite fresh.

"The finger hasn't come along as he and the medical team would have liked, so it's important it's as good as it can be for the Test matches against India."

Related items

  • Spain's Yamal breaks Pele record to make further history in Euro 2024 final Spain's Yamal breaks Pele record to make further history in Euro 2024 final

    Lamine Yamal made further history as the youngest player to ever appear in a World Cup or European Championship final.

    The Barcelona winger started for Spain in Sunday's Euro 2024 final against England in Berlin.

    Aged just 17 years and one day, Yamal surpassed Pele's record from the 1958 World Cup, with the Brazilian then 17 years and 249 days old against Sweden.

    The teenager has enjoyed a remarkable tournament for La Roja so far, scoring an eye-catching leveller in Tuesday's 2-1 semi-final victory over France.

    Yamal also has three assists in Germany, the most by a Spanish player at the tournament in history.

    At the other end of the spectrum, Luis de la Fuente – aged 63 years and 23 days – is the third-oldest manager to take charge of a European Championship final.

    The Spain head coach ranks only behind Luis Aragones, also with Spain in 2008 (69y 337d), and Greece's Otto Rehhagel in 2004 (65y 330d), both of whom won the trophy.

    La Roja are aiming to become the first team to win the competition on four separate occasions, having lifted the trophy in 1964, 2008 and 2012.

    There was also a further slice of history for Yamal, though, which he shared with England midfielder Kobbie Mainoo.

    It marked the first time two teenagers have started a Euros or World Cup final.

  • Woakes not 'ruling out' leading role at the Ashes Woakes not 'ruling out' leading role at the Ashes

    Chris Woakes is targeting a leading role in the Ashes but is not "ruling anything out" after becoming the senior seamer following James Anderson's retirement.

    Anderson, England's leading wicket-taker, played his 188th and final Test in an innings win over the West Indies at Lord's this week.

    In the second Test at Trent Bridge next week, where Woakes could make his landmark 50th cap, he will also be the senior figure in the England changing room.

    However, Woakes' record in overseas Tests is much lower, getting just 36 at 58.11, compared to at home, where he has 114 for 22.04, leaving him unsure if he will be one of the openers in Australia next year.

    "I just don't rule anything out," Woakes said.

    "It'd be hard for me to just stand here and say I'll be the opening bowler in that Ashes – obviously my away record probably isn't as good as my home.

    "But at the same time, I've looked at Stuart [Broad] and Jimmy [Anderson] evolve as they've got older. And I still hope that I can potentially do the same, but I said I don't look too far ahead.

    "I've always looked throughout my England career as just looking at the very next event, the very next game, the very next series and trying to be in the best shape possible for that game, that series. I think as soon as you start looking too far ahead, you get caught up in it."

    England captain Ben Stokes is shifting the focus to a younger crop, with Gus Atkinson impressing on his debut as he took 12 wickets against the West Indies.

    With Stokes targeting the Ashes as England's next goal, Woakes is keen to be involved with the team, while helping the younger players coming through.

    "You're going to see a lot more new players coming into the team or new bowlers and give guys opportunity, which is obviously what's required to move forward," Woakes added.

    "Obviously, it'll be slightly different if I was given the new ball, your role slightly changes and the majority of my career I've come on first change.

    "Whenever there is a new guy coming into the team, you still try and pass on a little bit of knowledge, and I've been around for long enough to be able to hopefully do that.

    "Maybe I need to do that a little bit more now as Stu and Jim have finished, but particularly on the field, maybe more so than off it."

  • Kumar stars as India complete resounding series win over Zimbabwe Kumar stars as India complete resounding series win over Zimbabwe

    Mukesh Kumar took four wickets as India beat Zimbabwe by 42 runs in the final game of their T20I five-series fixture in Harare. 

    Kumar finished with figures of 4-22, taking two wickets in the 18th over to secure the win for the reigning T20 world champions. 

    Having failed to take any wickets from their 92 balls in their 10-wicket defeat on Saturday, Zimbabwe needed just four deliveries to get their first on Sunday as Sikandar Raza bowled Yashasvi Jaiswal out for 12. 

    The Chevrons continued their fast start as Abhishek Sharma (14) and Shubman Gill (13) fell early on, which had India at 44-3 by the end of the sixth over. 

    Sanju Samson's 58 from 45 deliveries steadied the ship, but Blessing Muzarabani (2-19) starred with the ball in hand as India finished on 167-6 after 20 overs. 

    Zimbabwe's chase for a second win of the series got off to the worst possible start, however, losing Wesley Madhevere for a duck after just the third ball. 

    Despite Dion Myers (34) and Tadiwanashe Marumani (27) attempting to revive a comeback, Zimbabwe failed to find their rhythm at the crease. 

    Faraz Akram's 16 runs from three balls in the 17th over offered slight hope, but Zimbabwe saw three wickets fall in quick succession, finishing 125 all out and confirming a 4-1 series defeat. 

    Data Debrief: India continue T20 champion form

    India have now won seven of their last eight men's T20Is against Zimbabwe, including each of the last four, giving them their longest winning streak against the Chevrons. 

    Shivam Dube took the wicket on Sikandar Raza, India's 11th dismissal via run out in the men's T20Is they have played in 2024, better than any of the full-member sides. 

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.