Eoin Morgan, England’s limited-overs captain, has said that he will be prepared to sit out of the XI at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 if it benefits the team.
England, the No.1 team in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Men’s Rankings, have never won the World Cup, reaching the final but finishing second best in 1979, 1987 and 1992.
They turned around their 50-over game following a first-round exit in the 2015 edition in Australia and New Zealand, adopting an aggressive batting game. With the 2019 chapter set to take place at home in England and Wales, Morgan’s side are the favourites.
There is still a lot of cricket to be played (before the World Cup) and hopefully the guts of our work will be done this winter
Morgan has been an integral part of the new-look England side, but said that if the team management feels he isn’t pulling his weight, he is happy to axe himself, as soon as in the upcoming ODI series in Sri Lanka.
“It is a brave call but we have come a long way with this team and we need to put ourselves in the best position in order to be contenders,” Morgan, whose England have won eight bilateral series in a row, told Sky Sports Cricket ahead of the series in Sri Lanka.
“If that means I am not good enough to be in the team as a captain or as a player I will be the first one to say it, I'm an honest guy. I'm more than capable of making a tough decision. I've dropped myself in the past to create opportunities for guys and see if they can play at international level or given them an extra chance to prove themselves. When you drop yourself as a captain it sets the tone and example of 'nobody's place is cemented'.
“We are trying to build a squad of 16 or 17 to try and win a World Cup, that's the objective. It's not an individual trying to get runs or wickets – it's a team collective everyone must be prepared to buy into.”
Time to step it up a gear 💪 pic.twitter.com/wudvsAyfAs— England Cricket (@englandcricket) October 8, 2018
England lost 5-2 when they played an ODI series in Sri Lanka under Alastair Cook in 2014, following which Morgan took over as captain, overseeing the poor performance at the World Cup.
This time, back in Sri Lanka in the lead up to another World Cup, Morgan is more hopeful.
“It's a new tour, different conditions and the challenge for us, like any other winter tour, is applying our own mentality and positive, aggressive style of play,” he said.
“Last year we learnt a huge amount and grew a huge amount, particularly in our bowling department – we thought the pitches would be a batsman's paradise in Australia and New Zealand but they weren't and a lot of times bowlers won us games.
“Sri Lanka could be very similar and present different challenges, particularly for our batsmen up against two wrist-spinners. They will be good healthy conditions for us to come up with answers to. Hopefully this will make us a more rounded team and whatever the conditions at home next summer, we will be able to process it, adapt and make good decisions. We will continue to challenge ourselves, never mind the opposition.”
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