Leading to the cricket’s mega event in England, the home team, riding on their stupendous form in ODI cricket post 2015 World Cup, is stated as the prime favourite to win the tournament this time. The man who led the team to this meteoric rise, English captain Eoin Morgan, said that their decision to shift to play aggressive brand of cricket helped them in becoming the number one ODI team. Along with their fearless approach to the game, Morgan said the change in personnel in the ODI setup, has changed things drastically for the current World Cup hosts.
“With the bat, you needed to be able to post 330-350, so to choose guys whose default mode was pure aggression was something we highlighted in selection,” Morgan was quoted as saying by ICC. “We identified guys with a lot of talent who would fit the mould; guys who if they did get knocked back at some stage, they would come back harder.”
Post the 2015 World Cup debacle, he further said that the English administration’s decision to continue with him as the captain, after England got out in the group stages, helped him reaffirm his ideas and gave him confidence. “The phone call from [England director of cricket] Andrew Strauss was a huge confidence booster for me. He gave me absolute clarity that we needed to change things drastically and he would give us time to change them,” the English skipper added.
He also mentioned his friend Brendon McCullum’s name, saying that the former New Zealand skipper’s methodologies as captain were huge encouragment for him. “If you look at his [McCullum’s] body language at any stage of any game it’s extremely positive, he’s always on the front foot and leading from the front regardless of the scoreboard or the situation of the game. I like to pick his brain. As a pure leader, he’s exceptional. New Zealand cricket had embodied playing fun cricket under McCullum. Playing against them, we were a little bit jealous”, Morgan said.
He further added that the entire process has helped players, supporters and skipper alike with England coming out of the shackles of conservatism and finding a new identity in international cricket. They have not lost a single bilateral ODI seris in last two years. However, he felt that winning was not the only things as he said, “Part of our culture and values is that I like to think sport nowadays isn’t revolved around performance. People can respect, relate to and admire teams and cultures if they do it in the right way. If we go out of this tournament – but for the right reasons, with the players having given everything – people will have a huge amount of respect for that.”