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.”