Despite his team suffering a 64-run defeat to Australia at Lord’s on Tuesday in the 2019 ICC World Cup group stage, England captain Eoin Morgan refused to be too downbeat about his team’s chances of semi-final qualification, still calling them “strong”.
“Yeah, (our qualification chances are) still strong. The chances are in our hands. Everything is within our control. We just need to produce a performance worthy of winning either one or the next two games,” Morgan said at the post-match press conference.
“I think both this game and the last, we struggled with the basics of what we call our batting mantra. You know, strong intent, building partnerships, and doing it in our own way, and we haven't done those for long enough periods of the game in order to either chase down 230 or chase down 280, and that's disappointing.”
Morgan himself did not have a particularly good outing with the bat, being dismissed by Starc on four runs. And he said that a big part of turning his team’s form around was leading from the front – something he hopes to do in the upcoming games.
“Yeah, ideally, I'd like to lead from the front. I think majority of the captains have success with a team when they lead from the front. So contributions from myself and the next two games, obviously might have an impact on the changing room. So hopefully I can make a difference.
“I think it (our confidence) will take a little bit of a hit. But I certainly don't think it's knocked anybody in the changing room. Normally when we lose games of cricket, like I mentioned yesterday, we go back to what we do well. We'll still strive to do that for Sunday's game.”
Australian Jason Behrendorff was the wrecker-in-chief in the innings, and Morgan was asked about whether the England batsmen failed to play Australia’s left-arm quicks well.
“They are pretty good bowlers,” he said. “I thought the wicket might have well suited the way that they bowl, as well. They bowl pretty straight, use change of pace quite well. But I think a huge contribution towards that was taking wickets up front.”
Finally, Morgan spoke about Ben Stoke’s contribution of 89 off 115 balls, revealing that the all-rounder was struggling with cramps throughout the match.
“Yeah, he obviously struggled with cramp. It was a one-day. Ben contributes in all three facets of our game plan. Today was quite a big day for him. He's obviously in very, very good form, and it's partly disappointing that in an innings like that, almost goes to one side because we lost the game. Similar to Trent Bridge where the two boys got 100s. Similar to Ben's innings the other day.”
England’s next match in the World Cup is against India on June 30th.