T20 World Cup: Beating New Zealand 'would be a hell of an achievement' - Morgan

By Sports Desk November 09, 2021

Eoin Morgan says it would be a "hell of an achievement" for injury-hit England to beat New Zealand and reach the T20 World Cup final.

England and the Black Caps do battle at Zayed Cricket Stadium on Wednesday in a repeat of the 50-over World Cup final in 2019, when Morgan's side were crowned champions in the most dramatic fashion at Lord's.

Jason Roy has joined Tymal Mills on an injury list that already included Jofra Archer, Sam Curran and Ben Stokes.

England have won three of their past four T20 World Cup matches against New Zealand, one of those coming in a semi-final five years ago.

Captain Morgan says it would be a huge feat if they could defeat Kane Williamson's side once again in Abu Dhabi to set up a showdown with Pakistan or Australia.

The batsman said: "I wouldn't say [England are] strong favourites. 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."

 

Morgan refused to be drawn on who will replace Roy at the top of the order to partner Jos Buttler, with another bowler coming into the side being one of the options.

"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 added.

"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."

Black Caps skipper Williamson knows England have the strength in depth to replace Roy.

He said: "I suppose whenever there's an injury, someone else comes in and you're not to know who they are until the toss. But you try and prepare and plan as best you can and then when you go out there, you're sort of competing in the moment.

"And that all matters then. But Jason's a big player for England and has been playing really nicely and getting the team off to good starts along with Jos.

"But as I mentioned, the depth on the England side is one of their strengths and we'll try and plan accordingly to the best of our ability.

"But largely [we] want to focus on the sort of cricket that we want to play as a group and keep developing on that as we've been doing throughout this tournament."

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