Two defeats in a row sharpens a team, says Morgan

Ahead of the World Cup 2019 clash against New Zealand, England skipper Eoin Morgan revealed how the eight-wicket loss to the Kiwis in the 2015 edition played a role in his side’s white-ball revival.

England captain Eoin Morgan stretches during a training session at the Riverside Ground on Tuesday.   -  AFP

Four years ago when England played New Zealand in a World Cup fixture in Wellington, it suffered a humiliating eight-wicket defeat.

And ahead of his side’s crucial World Cup fixture against New Zealand on Tuesday, Morgan revealed that humiliating outing in 2015 had left him devastated.

“It was as close to rock-bottom as I've been. Certainly as a captain and as a player, being beaten off the park like that was humiliating,” Morgan.

The England captain also admitted that the defeat played a key role in his side’s white-ball revival. “New Zealand proved a point that you can actually be really good humans and grow in the game and play cricket in your own way and win at the same time, which is incredibly eye-opening for a lot of countries around the world,” he said, adding: “I thought that rubbed off on everybody in the World Cup.”

Consecutive defeats against Sri Lanka and Australia had put England in a spot, but the side bounced back with a convincing win over India. “I think two defeats in a row (sharpens a team). It was clear after the Australia game that there was a huge amount of disappointment in the changing room,” Morgan said.

“The fact that we’ve been able to turn that around, identify where we are at and identify what we need to do in order to progress to the semis made things clearer about how we want to continue to play, which hasn’t changed. It’s important and it’s been effective.”

England suffered all its three defeats when batting second and Morgan admitted that it’s time to rethink. “I think just accepting that the wickets haven’t been as good as they have been in the last four years has changed that,” he added.

“The wicket looked good for 100 overs in yesterday’s game (Sri Lanka vs West Indies). That might change again tomorrow. Every wicket that we’ve played on so far I suppose has been tougher to bat on in the second innings regardless of who’s won or not…” the captain said.

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