New Delhi: England skipper Eoin Morgan's opening press conference in Mumbai ahead of the ICC World T20 lasted a little more than eight minutes which caused a scribe to remark: "That's how long his team is going to last in this competition". Hopes of England making the Last Four were as rare as rainfall in a desert.
England's batsman Jason Roy celebrates his 50 against NZ in New Delhi on Wednesday. Pic/PTI
However, Morgan & Co not just surprised everyone by qualifying for the semi-final, but also left critics red-faced when they stunned New Zealand, who were unbeaten in the group stage, at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Wednesday.
While every foreign team spoke about how their players' participation in the Indian Premier League (IPL) would be an added advantage in the ICC World T20, England only had Morgan with IPL experience and they still made it to the final. England's show has also shown that IPL is not the only ladder of success to T20 cricket.
Jason Roy, the star of England's chase in the semi-final with a 44-ball 78, was pleased to prove their detractors wrong. "We've had a lot of negative feedback from a few people and to be in a World cup final now has hopefully got a few people on our side. There's been a huge amount of support all tournament from back home and around the world so thanks to all those people," said Roy.
Morgan had expressed that 'little bit of naivety' about the Indian conditions was a good factor coming into the World T20. Out of the 14 players, who are here to reclaim the World T20 title since winning it in 2010 in West Indies, only four players (Morgan, Joe Root, Jos Buttler and Alex Hales) had the experience of playing T20s in Indian conditions.
This naivety has probably helped the boys to take every match as it comes. "All the boys today were extremely chilled out. We go out and do what we practice: if it works, it works, it doesn't it doesn't. We'll have bad days and good days, but it's gone our way in the last few days," Roy explained.