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In-form Players in Contention for World Cup: Morgan

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: March 12, 2019, 8:30 AM IST
In-form Players in Contention for World Cup: Morgan

IMAGE: AFP

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Skipper Eoin Morgan believes England are in a "really healthy place" ahead of the 2019 World Cup after a "perfect performance" in the third and final Twenty20 International against Windies that saw the visitors clinch the series 3-0.

England lost the Test series and then played out a draw in the five-match ODI series. Following the first T20I, England were ruthless in the next two encounters and completed a series whitewash without putting much effort.

“That's as close as we could have got to a perfect performance,” Morgan told Test Match Special.

“Throughout this T20 series, we have played extremely well. What we have seen over the last two games is individuals standing up and producing match-winning performances.

Players like Sam Billings, Chris Jordan and David Willey who aren't regular members in England's playing XI in ODIs made solid impact in this T20I series and Morgan made it clear that they will be talked about in the selection meetings for the home World Cup.

"The guys who did perform here certainly will be talked about in selection meetings. The guys played close to perfect. There is an opportunity to look at other guys outside of our mainstay players. I probably see our bowling line-up changing more than our batting," Morgan added.

"David Willey really did stand out with that early spell. We felt he was our best option to swing the new ball and he's very deceptive with his slower balls. Sam Billings, Chris Jordan and Joe Denly have also come in and done well."

Meanwhile, Willey, who scalped six wickets in the series, said there was some pressure on him as he hasn't been playing for England regularly.

"They are the kind of days you dream about in Twenty20 cricket," said Willey, who registered his career-best figures in T20Is with his 4 for 7 in the third game.

"Very often it's a batter's game so to be a bowler and get some wickets, then to win in the fashion we did is brilliant. I'd like to think I was on for the five-for but if someone had offered me four for seven when I woke up this morning I'd have bitten their hand off. I'm happy with that.

"Touring is difficult when you're not playing and when you do get your opportunity there is a bit more pressure on for you to step up and contribute. I always feel I play my best cricket when I'm playing regularly so it can present a challenge to hit your straps when you're not playing regularly. So to come out and play as I have gives me a lot of confidence."

England coach Trevor Bayliss meanwhile said that the selectors job will only get tougher after such a dominating performance.

"I think we're getting down fairly close to that 15. It's going to make our job just that little bit harder with some of the performances in this T20 series. Obviously the World Cup is a 50-over competition, but we're going to have to have a good, hard, long chat about that World Cup squad," Bayliss was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

But the coach said his team can still improve ahead of the World Cup, especially playing on bouncy wickets and improving as a team when it comes to fielding.

"The bouncier wickets are probably our biggest challenge at the moment, our batting has been our strength over the last three or four years. Our fielding has improved, but I always think we can get better as a fielding team.

"Our bowlers, I think, have been unheralded. The batters have taken a little bit of the spotlight away from the bowlers but as a group of bowlers I think they've done fantastically well. It's good to see during this T20 series it's the bowlers who have been the ones that have actually set it up for us."
First Published: March 11, 2019, 1:19 PM IST
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