England captain Eoin Morgan is hoping to lead his side to a historic World Cup double
England won’t need to win all five of their matches to reach the semi-finals, but they would rather be building ahead of steam as the tournament goes on rather than running out of it.
Their blips in the 2019 50-over triumph came against Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia, but they finished strongly to reach the final off the back of three successive wins.
New Zealand on the other hand flew out of the traps at the start of the tournament and were hanging on by a thread to make the semis before ultimately losing the big one.
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And while Morgan clearly wants to get off to a winning start against the Windies, he knows that when you win, is more important than how many you win.
“We’re all excited, and we’ve played some of our best ever cricket in T20 World Cups,” said Morgan.
“We know at the beginning of a tournament, probably more so in this tournament, you need to be the smartest, the most experienced, the most adaptable side in order to do well in the early stages.
“We know how gruelling World Cups can be, how hard they can be to go through to latter stages and how gruelling group stage games are and the ebb and flow of things.
“I think within our squad, we have the ability to manage that, so guys are excited at the challenge. There’s a reason we have been considered contenders for this tournament, through our performance.”
It has been five long years since the T20 World Cup has been up for grabs but England’s team has only evolved rather than gone through wholesale changes.
And Morgan reckons that familiarity together with the shared pain of losing that 2016 final against the Windies for seven of the current squad, will help them in their quest for glory.
“I think some of the biggest disappointments in anyone’s career are more learnings than scars,” added Morgan.
“I think if there were scars from 2016 we would have lost a lot of players who wouldn’t have progressed like they have done over the last four or five years.
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“The development of the side has reinforced that any time we’ve come up against a side that has beaten us in whatever fashion they have we’ve always looked to learn and progress and become a better side.”
Morgan has a big decision to make on Dawid Malan at number three and whether he opts for the in-form Moeen Ali who also provides a useful spin option.
Malan remains the No.1 T20 batsman in the world, but he has struggled of late and needs a score.
England will take a knee against the West Indies in support of Black Lives Matter but will not against any other side.
“Unfortunately, during this tournament, we are not allowed to do our moment of unity,” said Morgan. “We’ll join the West Indies in taking a knee to show our support in the fight against racism.”