Morgan: 'Winning against India not impossible'

After a spoor show in Tests, England is hoping to put on a much better display in the limited-overs, when it takes on India in the ODI series opener at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium in Pune on Sunday.

England captain Eoin Morgan

Over the last couple of years, Eoin Morgan has raised the performance and stature of England’s ODI and T20I sides.   -  AP

Three week ago, England may have staged a meek surrender to Virat Kohli’s boys in the Test series. However, with the change of calendar, a change in colours and a rejigged group — including a specialist limited-overs’ captain — England is hoping to put on a much better display in the three ODIs and three T20Is on Indian soil. The ODI series will start at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium here on Sunday.

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Eoin Morgan, the shorter format captain, is confident that his side will put on a much better display than the 4-0 mauling its Test counterpart received not too long ago. And the Irish-born batsman has every reason to believe so. After all, over the last couple of years, Morgan has raised the performance and stature of England’s ODI and T20I sides. It has reflected in the side consistently piling on huge totals in ODIs and also in the side’s memorable run to the World T2020 final on Indian soil 10 months ago.

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Still, Morgan refrained from referring to his team’s brand as that of playing "fearless" cricket.

"I wouldn’t say fearless, I would just like to think we like to play in our own way. The group of players that we have are very outgoing, very expansive and very explosive, and do what they say they’re going to do, they can stick to their natural game which is quite an aggressive game," Morgan said. "Trying to be somebody else or trying to be a different team, doesn’t work for us. We try to be ourselves and be comfortable within our skins, andI think that has worked."

Morgan said that the team had every reason to rewind to the World T20 and feel it can repeat the heroics in the coming three weeks.

"I think that thing that we draw from, it is the confidence in knowing that we’ve played in these conditions before. Coming to that tournament in particular, this group of players has never played cricket in India," he said. "I think there were four of us who’ve toured here before and having toured here and done well and overcome the mental battle of some pitches just don't turn and some do, and you’ve to be responsive and stay in the moment as long as you can, and react as best you can to those circumstances. I think it worked for us in that tournament, and hopefully it’ll work for us throughout this series."

Morgan even tried to put Kohli and co under pressure, reminding the host that it hasn’t had a dominating run in ODIs in the recent past. "The challenge of winning in India is huge. It’s one that’s not impossible, it’s happened recently. South Africa turned India over (in 2015), New Zealand pushed them close (last year). It’s nice to be about to come to a country, where there is a huge hype and expectation on the series, not necessarily on us, but even if it was on us, the emphasis has always been internally as a side, and I’m trying to get them all set. One of the biggest challenges here is adapting to conditions," he said.

If the two warm-up games against India A is an indication, England is more than adapted to take India heads on.