‘Perfect performance’ could change World Cup squad – Eoin Morgan

Written by Vipin Darwade

England’s “perfect performance” in the Twenty20 Internationals in the Caribbean has ensured their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 preparations are in a “really healthy place”, as per Eoin Morgan, their captain.

England swept the T20Is 3-0 after bundling out West Indies for 72 to pick up an eight-wicket win in St Kitts. This after keeping them to a humbling 45 in the second T20I at the same venue.

Having suffered a 2-1 loss in the Test series and been held to a 2-2 draw in the one-day internationals, England desperately needed this dominant win in the T20Is. That it came with a few of the regulars rested was a sign of the depth they possess, and Morgan admitted it could affect their CWC 2019 squad selection.

“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.

“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.

“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.”

“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. To come out and play as I have gives me a lot of confidence.”

As for West Indies, despite their poor performances in the T20Is, there was still some joy after what was, on the whole, a fine series for the home side. “This was a special series for us as we showed that we can play well, we can compete, and we can win against teams ranked higher,” said captain Jason Holder.

“The Test series was exceptional and the ODI series equally as good. The T20 series just wasn’t ours, we were outplayed, but we would say we did well overall against England and we are happy with the success we had in the last six to seven weeks.”

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Vipin Darwade