Eoin Morgan insists he’s ready to drop HIMSELF if necessary to boost England’s T20 World Cup chances as skipper admits to slump in form, but insists: ‘My captaincy has been pretty good’
- Eion Morgan would drop himself if it would boost Twenty20 World Cup hopes
- England captain is struggling for form with only 41 runs in last nine innings
- ‘I’m not going to stand in the way of a team winning the World Cup,’ he said
- England not favourites but Morgan keen to add to ODI 2019 World Cup win
Eoin Morgan returns to action for England on Wednesday insisting he would drop himself if he thought it would help his team win the Twenty20 World Cup.
The 35-year-old captain is in the midst of a lean run of form with just 41 runs in nine innings and a top score of 13 during the recent resumption of the IPL.
Morgan, who still led Kolkata Knight Riders to last week’s final, has also only mustered 82 runs in seven T20 innings for England this year. And he knows his status as skipper is no longer enough to guarantee his place in the XI, with Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali all jostling for top-six spots.
Eoin Morgan would drop himself if England stood a better chance of winning T20 World Cup
Morgan opted to miss Monday’s defeat by India when vice-captain Buttler took charge but he will play in Wednesday’s final warm-up match against New Zealand ahead of Saturday’s World Cup opener against the West Indies.
Asked whether he would ever leave himself out of his own side, Morgan replied: ‘It’s always an option. I’m not going to stand in the way of a team winning the World Cup.
‘I’ve been short of runs but my captaincy has been pretty good as it goes. I’ve always managed to compartmentalise both and treat them as two different challenges. Not being a bowler, being a bit older and not contributing as much in the field, I’ve loved the role of captain. You get two bites at the cherry impacting the game.
Morgan has struggled for batting form lately, recording only 41 runs in his last nine innings
‘As for my batting, I wouldn’t be standing here if I hadn’t come out of every bad run of form that I’d ever had. The nature of T20 cricket and where I bat means I always have to take quite high-risk options and I’ve come to terms with that.
‘It’s just something you deal with, it’s the nature of the job so I’m going to continue taking those risks if the team dictates they need them. If they don’t, I won’t.’
For now at least, Morgan is likely to slot back in at No 6. That would mean either one of the current batsmen making way — with slow starter Malan perhaps the most vulnerable despite being ranked as the world’s No 1 T20 batsman — or playing one fewer bowler and giving part-time spinner Livingstone more overs.
The in-form Livingstone was declared fully fit on Tuesday after damaging a finger against India.
England are not the favourites to win this tournament — that tag goes to India. But the chance to complete a World Cup double, following the home 50-over success in 2019, is acting as a major motivation for Morgan.
‘It’ll be special if we manage to do it,’ said Morgan. ‘Playing away creates challenges and for the first time since 2016 we’re going into a world tournament where we haven’t been favourites. But there’s a real chance of being contenders.’
Skipper Morgan led England to 50-over success in 2019 World Cup on home soil
England were more than contenders in the last T20 World Cup five years ago, having been on course to beat West Indies in the final before Carlos Brathwaite, needing 19 to win in the last over, smashed Ben Stokes for four sixes.
Morgan says that defeat will fuel his side going into Saturday’s rematch in Dubai.
‘I thought about that match for about seven months afterwards to try and understand it,’ he said. ‘It was one of the most incredible sporting events that you’ll ever watch.
‘It’s not something that you can just let run off your back. There is always motivation to drive success and it normally stems from failure. For some of the guys that heartbreak might be theirs.’
Meanwhile, England will join West Indies in taking the knee on Saturday. Players from both sides carried out the gesture in support of the Black Lives Matter movement during their three Test matches last year.
But England were criticised by Windies legend Michael Holding for not continuing to take a knee beyond that series, having instead opted to wear anti-discrimination T-shirts in a ‘moment of unity’ before home matches this year.
ENGLAND v NEW ZEALAND: Live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.50am, starts 11am.