England captain Eoin Morgan, speaking after England's one run defeat to South Africa, explained why he believed his side could take a lot from the game.
With the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2020 just six months away, Morgan believes the lessons learned during their narrow loss would stand them in good stead come the tournament.
"It was an outstanding game of cricket," the England skipper said during the post-match presentation. "Experiences like this, particularly with a World Cup around the corner, are just so valuable to the team."
England made it to the final of the last T20 World Cup, held in India in 2016, but lost to West Indies in a similarly dramatic finish. Carlos Brathwaite hit four consecutive sixes from Ben Stokes' final over to seal what had seemed an unlikely victory. But Morgan felt his side would be better placed placed this time to deal with whatever is thrown at them.
"Looking back on the 2016 T20 World Cup, we were beaten in the final in a dramatic fashion," he said while speaking to Sky Sports. "But we took a lot of confidence from that tournament because we went into it as a bit of an afterthought, and learnt as much as we could. This time around, we'll be in a better position to counter anything that happens."
England had been well placed to take victory in this game too, after Morgan hit three consecutive boundaries in the 19th over to bring up his fifty and leave seven runs required from as many balls. But his dismissal sparked a collapse which ended with England having lost four wickets in the final seven balls, and falling one run short of South Africa's 177/8. But Morgan has no regrets about how he played.
"With all the games I've played and the experience I have, I would have liked to seen it through and I didn't manage to do that," he said. "But the more games I play, the more I back myself to be there at the end. I'll still continue with the method that I play and hopefully contribute to some more wins."
Morgan also praised the attitude of his team towards learning from each other.
"One of the big things in our changing room is that we learn quite quickly from each other. We're very open and there's no massive egos around. It's okay for guys to say 'I struggled today, what did you look to do, and how were you effective? Teach me.'
"There will be a bit of a look back at the footage in the next 24 hours, but full credit to South Africa, they clawed their way back into a game that I thought we should have easily won, but we didn't, so fair play. We're going to have to try and negate Ngidi's slower ball because it was very effective on this wicket."
The skipper confirmed that England would continue to pick what they felt was their strongest XI, with not much thought given to rotation of players, as they look to nail down the side going into the T20 World Cup.
"We want guys to get absolute clarity in their positions, particularly from one to seven," he said. "In the middle, at the end, in the Powerplay, whatever the circumstance might be … we want guys to feel as comfortable as they can. And to be exposed a little bit as well."
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