Eoin Morgan: My team and I aren't done yet
England's world champion skipper recalls the roller coaster ICC World Cup ride and insists his team and he aren't done yet.
AFTER being a part of the 'Match of the Century' to clinch England's maiden ICC World Cup trophy at Lord's on July 14, skipper Eoin Morgan actually took some time off to reflect whether he still has it in him to deliver with distinction for his country.
The Irishman, who will be part of the Abu Dhabi T10 league that will be telecasted on Sony Pictures Sports Network, spoke to mid-day yesterday about England's whirlwind World Cup campaign, Ben Stokes' evolution and the road ahead for English cricket.
What made you give captaincy a second thought?
After the rollercoaster World Cup and the final, I've seen it as a time to gather my thoughts and see how my body and mind is. Having some time to think about has helped me understand that can I still lead the team. It has taken me a couple of weeks to understand that the desire and hunger is still there. That's what my decision has come down to.
What was the stand out feature for you in England's World Cup triumph?
The standout feature was in two parts. The first is where we started well, particularly against South Africa. Then, there was a bit of a wobble against Sri Lanka and Australia. The second part consisted of everything about our team; going out there and expressing ourselves, being the best possible team and just to justify why we were ranked No. 1. We have a lot of guys, who like to show character when they play and the guys did that right from the India game in Birmingham and then right through to the final.
Have you been in touch with NZ skipper Kane Williamson after the final?
We have spoken. We have mixed emotions about the game because we handed them the game and then they handed it back and then they had it. It was like a game of tennis. Both teams had moments to win but didn't take them. That's why it was so tense and went right till the end.
Would you want to be in an another tense World Cup final like that?
It was dramatic. In the 2016 T20I World Cup final in Kolkata, Carlos Brathwaite hit four consecutive sixes. I thought that was the most remarkable game I had ever played. But this final has taken it to another level. If such matches still happen, it's great for the game. You can be selfish and say we want to win easy but if it's easy, it is not worth doing.
What is the roadmap for the future?
This is a stepping stone for us to continue to get better. One of the problems we have had before this team was assembled was that we would win games in fantastic phases for say six months and then drop off. Hopefully, we can be similar to Australia, India and New Zealand. When these teams go to the World Cup they are considered to have genuine chances of winning. We would like to be considered a genuine chance of winning rather than an outside chance.
How remarkable has Ben Stokes been in the last couple of years?
Ben's journey goes back further than the last few years. He's always been an exciting cricketer and extremely talented. The last year and a half, everyone has seen that. Ben is such a kind person, who gives emotionally and physically, everything to the team but people don't see that a lot. Now, through his performances in the summer during the World Cup and then in the Test series, he has literally just blown everyone away. I believe this is complete heroism at its best.
Do you see Stokes as a potential England captain once you quit?
Even if they are not captains, there are leaders already within the white-ball and red-ball teams. There's Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Joe Root, Chris Woakes and Jason Roy. Every great team needs leaders. It is not necessary that the captains call the shots always. It is the guys working in the background, who are very important too.
There is the Hundred format coming up. You have the T10 league as well. Does this dilute the essence of cricket?
I don't think so. Every league and format has a place in the game. Test cricket is a priority and the pinnacle. We prioritise Test cricket back home. With newer leagues and other formats like the T10, there is a specific role. Having played two seasons of it, watching the entertainment and the action has blown me away. The format can host eight or 10-team tournaments in a short time, which makes it extremely appealing for the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games.
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