England skipper Eoin Morgan calms concern after batting horror show in final Champions Trophy audition

 
Ross McLean
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England v South Africa - Royal London ODI
Eoin Morgan was one of eight England batsmen who failed to reach double figures against South Africa in the third one-day international at Lord's (Source: Getty)

England skipper Eoin Morgan denied that his side’s farcical batting collapse, which handed South Africa victory at Lord’s, in their final audition before the Champions Trophy posed a terminal threat to morale.

With an unassailable 2-0 series lead and the side re-jigged, England’s top order succumbed to 20-6 in the fifth over – their worst start to a one-day international – before eventually posting 153 all out.

South Africa, who are the No1 ranked one-day team in the world, cantered to a seven-wicket triumph with more than 20 overs to spare as opener Hashim Amla top scored with 55.

“I’d like to think it doesn’t [affect morale},” said Morgan. “Obviously what cost us was that first hour – a lot of live, green grass on the wicket. South Africa bowled beautifully and they did not give us anything to hit.

“We didn’t play too aggressively, a lot of our shots were defensive shots.”

Only three players – Jonny Bairstow, David Willey and debutant Toby Roland-Jones – reached double figures and Morgan was keen to express his dissatisfaction with the pitch.

“It was not a one-day international wicket if I am honest,” added Morgan.

“I would be disappointed if we did [play on a pitch like this in the Champions Trophy] because any side that bats first has the potential to lose the game and to lose a game on the toss in a major tournament is hard to take.”

Morgan has previously stated that, despite his impressive form, Bairstow is unlikely to feature in England’s strongest XI for the Champions Trophy. A player at the other end of the form scale is Jason Roy, who has now scored just 33 runs in his last five ODIs.

Morgan said: “Jason is the No1 pick at the moment. He and [Alex] Hales have been our one and two for quite a long time. They have had ups and downs but ultimately have played in the fashion that we have wanted.”

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