England captain Eoin Morgan said on Tuesday that the team’s ability to “forge on” despite injury setbacks at the Twenty20 World Cup has kept them optimistic ahead of the semi-final against New Zealand.
In-form opener Jason Roy and pace bowler Tymal Mills are the latest injury withdrawals from an England squad that was missing star players Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer.
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Roy injured his calf in the team’s only loss in the Super 12 stage, but England finished first in the group and will face the Kiwis in the first final-four match on Wednesday.
“He’s been a key player in both of our previous World Cup campaigns.” So similar to other guys who have been injured or missed the tournament due to injury,” Morgan told reporters on the eve of the match in Abu Dhabi.
“Other guys have found something else within themselves to either try to fill that gap or contribute to the team in a different way.”
“Of all the things we’ve done well this tournament, I think the resilience within our squad to find a way to move forward and forge on has been probably the strongest point.”
Morgan, on the other hand, refused to reveal Roy’s replacement in the XI or Jos Buttler’s opening partner, insisting that the 50-over World Champions will have to bring their best game to beat the Kiwis. “The guys are extremely excited about the challenge against New Zealand and the potential opportunity that may follow,” Morgan said.
“However, we need to play really good cricket to beat them.”
A meeting between these two teams always reminds me of the 2019 ODI World Cup final, which England won after a Super Over and was decided by the now-defunct boundary count tiebreaker. England also defeated New Zealand in the semi-finals of the 2016 T20 World Cup before defeating them again in the 2019 Super Over decider.
‘Liam, like Ben’
Morgan, on the other hand, is aware of New Zealand’s track record of reaching the semi-finals or finals of major international competitions.
“We know how consistent they’ve been over the last number of World Cups, not just the most recent ones, but you look beyond Kane’s role as captain,” Morgan explained.
“New Zealand has consistently been extremely competitive in and around semi-finals and finals for some time now.” As a result, we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Almost all of England’s players have stood up in their four Super 12 wins, and Liam Livingstone made his presence felt with a 17-ball 28, albeit in a loss to South Africa.
Morgan praised the batting all-rounder, who can bowl off and spin leg-spin.
“I’m a big Liam fan,” Morgan said. “He’s a guy who, like Ben, has the ability to contribute at any point in the game.”
“And he plays a style of cricket that allows him to easily come in and settle into the side.”
Morgan did not shy away from bringing up the racism controversy that has rocked the English county of Yorkshire, claiming that the England team had been open in discussing the issue even during their World Cup campaign.
“We definitely don’t hide anything that’s going on, especially something as serious and relevant to our squad as anything we’ve ever done, really,” Morgan said.