Sydney: Struggling England captain Eoin Morgan says he is confident he can bounce back and score runs in Saturday's crunch World Cup opener against Australia before a MCG full house.
Morgan, who succeeded the dumped Alastair Cook for the six-week event, is in the midst of a slump with scores of just 0, 2, 0 and 0 in his last four innings ahead of the cricket showpiece. The Irishman's latest disastrous outing was a duck in Wednesday's four-wicket loss to Pakistan in a warm-up game at the Sydney Cricket Ground, falling off a full toss from Yasir Shah.
But Morgan is banking on the strength of his pulsating 121 off 136 balls against Australia in the Sydney match of last month's tri-series to catapult him back into form. "It's been four or five games since I last scored a 100, so I don't have to look that far back to actually reconnect with what works well for me," Morgan said Thursday.
"I took a lot out of that 100 I scored in Sydney, particularly as it was against Australia. I take a lot of confidence from that game. "I find it really easy to reconnect with the past and find what I do well and be very individually focused when the chips are down.
"And I've done that in the past on a number of occasions where I've gone through low scores. To reconnect with that when I've come through tough periods, I know I've done it and come out the other side." An in-form Morgan is a must for England if they are to successfully navigate the pool stages and reach the quarter-finals of the tournament. Morgan has the support of teammate Joe Root, who predicted his skipper would hit back in the World Cup.
"Morgs is one of the guys that under the pump, when the pressure is on, you turn to," Root told reporters. "He's done it so many times for us and I'm sure throughout this competition he's going to score a lot of runs.
"Everyone in the dressing room is absolutely convinced that's going to be the case. He scored a hundred not long ago. He's obviously a fine player, he's a fine leader." Morgan came into the tournament under a cloud when it was revealed that he had been the target of a blackmail attempt over a relationship with an Australian woman five years ago.