England captain Eoin Morgan will drop himself from the playing squad should his run of poor batting performances continue.
Ahead of today’s T20 World Cup warm-up match against New Zealand, Morgan admitted that he needs to improve otherwise he will not feature against the West Indies on Saturday in his side’s opening match of the tournament.
“It’s always something I’ve said,” said Morgan, who averages 11.71 in T20 internationals this year. “I’m not going to stand in the way of a team winning the World Cup.
“I’ve obviously been short on runs. My captaincy has been pretty good as it goes.”
Morgan has just finished the Indian Premier League (IPL) season as captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders without making too much of an impact.
In the regular pool games after the season restart following a Covid-19-related delay, Morgan averaged just 5.7 with the bat while his highest score was 13 not out.
“I’ve managed to compartmentalise both [captaincy and being a batter] and treat two as two different challenges,” Morgan added.
“Not being a bowler, getting a little bit older and not contributing as much in the field, I’ve loved the role of being captain.
“I have two bites at the cherry when it comes to impacting the game. I wouldn’t be standing here if I hadn’t come out of every bad run of form that I’ve ever had.
“Being the nature of T20 cricket and where I bat [three] it means I have to take quite high-risk options. I’ve come to terms with that.”
West Indies repeat
England’s opening World Cup match on Saturday in Dubai is a repeat of the 2016 final in India.
That day saw West Indies batsman Carlos Brathwaite hit Ben Stokes for four sixes in the last over to hand the Caribbean side their second title.
On whether he still thinks about that night in Kolkata, Morgan said: “I probably did for six or seven months afterwards to try and understand it.
“It was one of the most incredible sporting events in isolation that you’ll ever watch.
“It’s not something that you can just let run off your back. But for a guy to come in and hit four consecutive sixes to win the game for his team is just an incredible feat in itself. That’s the way I’ve understood it.
“Within the white-ball team there are always cornerstones of motivation to try and drive success.”
Morgan said that some recent additions to the squad might see that occasion as their motivation.
Since that final, England’s white-ball cricketers have won the 50-over World Cup, beating New Zealand in a super over at Lord’s in 2019.
Among the squad out preparing for the World Cup, hosted by both Oman and the United Arab Emirates, are all-rounders Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali. Livingstone seemingly injured himself after dropping a catch in Monday’s warm-up defeat to India but has been deemed fit to play today against New Zealand.
Moeen recently retired from Test cricket but won the IPL last week as part of the Chennai Super Kings squad.
“Moeen has been in fine form and yesterday showed great confidence at the wicket,” said Morgan. “In the form he’s in, he’s a very good player that we could utilise at any stage.”