England’s mantra: Be brash, play aggressive

Captain Morgan remained upbeat on England’s chances in the coming tournament despite having a relatively inexperienced side, especially in Indian conditions. He didn’t see lack of IPL experience as a drawback for his team.

England captain Eoin Morgan interacts with the media in Mumbai on Wednesday.   -  THE HINDU

It may have been involved in the first-ever limited overs international cricket match more than four decades ago. It may have pioneered the first domestic T20 league. Yet, the administrators of England cricket have consistently handed step-motherly treatment to ODIs and T20 internationals when compared with Test cricket.

Despite England winning the World T20 title in 2010, the approach remained the same. The situation, however, seems to have changed since the humiliating first-round exit from the 2015 World Cup. Since then, > Eoin Morgan's men have made a mark in both the shorter formats of the game.

“I would say it’s the most expressive we’ve been in a long time. The evidence is the significant totals we have put with our bat,” Morgan said on Wednesday while addressing the media ahead of the World T20.

“I think (in ODIs) we’ve scored 350 twice or thrice and we’ve definitely chased it down once. I think we had six consecutive 300 plus scores, which is a huge step for us. We’ve scored 400 once. And it’s no coincidence. We have a lot of talent in the side; we encourage our players to go out and be as brash and aggressive as they can and take the game to the opposition.”

Morgan had no qualms in admitting that the 2015 World Cup campaign, especially the loss to Bangladesh, was the turning point. “That World Cup in particular, not necessarily that day, but the whole trip was a huge learning curve for me. As a captain, going through such a significant loss and such a down period in your career does make you enjoy any sort of success that comes down the line,” he said.

“I think that’s been quite significant in the turnaround that we’ve had, the different attitude, the different group of players and, to a certain extent, the results that we have had.”

Morgan remained upbeat on England’s chances in the coming tournament despite having a relatively inexperienced side, especially in Indian conditions. He didn’t see lack of IPL experience as a drawback for his team over the next three weeks.

“I think it just becomes a different challenge. Not only have our guys not played the IPL a lot of our guys have never been to India. But we have guys who have toured Sri Lanka quite a lot, been on a recent tour to Dubai and Abu Dhabi where we had a little bit of success,” he said.

“And I think sometimes, having experience, particularly in India – because a lot of sides come here, including Australia, and get hammered – can almost scar your perception and play. Having a little bit of naivety with a huge amount of talent isn’t a bad thing.”