Eoin Morgan admits England will need to play well to beat India in ODI series
Eoin Morgan expects an improvement from England after their batting fell short in Bristol
Eoin Morgan’s England need improvement against India in this week’s one-day international series after the tourists wrapped up the Vitality IT20s with a seven-wicket win in Bristol.
The hosts’ 198 for nine on Sunday was their third-highest Twenty20 international total on home soil.
But on an excellent pitch, and small playing area, it proved inadequate as Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten century eased India to a 2-1 series success after a third-wicket stand of 89 with his captain Virat Kohli.
Jason Roy (67) and Jos Buttler appeared to have put England on course to easily top 200 – but after their opening partnership of 94 in under eight overs, momentum was lost, and there was no grand finish either.
A manic conclusion to the innings in fact saw five wickets fall in 15 balls, albeit for 21 runs, as Hardik Pandya finished with a career-best four for 38.
Morgan said: “Those 20 or 30 runs we missed out on, in the back-end of our innings, cost us.
“We did a lot of things right today – particularly that platform set.
England have 3 players more than capable of doing what Jos does at the top of the order, but 0 capable of doing what he does from the middle to the end. That’s why in THIS team, I wouldn’t open with him.— mark butcher (@markbutcher72) July 8, 2018
“Jason and Jos were brilliant up front, and almost gave us a licence to allow ourselves to think about 220.
“But the execution of our shots didn’t really match up with getting to that total.
“On a good wicket, small ground, we should be better than that.”
The tourists were therefore always favourites in the chase, and completed it with eight balls to spare.
Wohhhooo!!! What a fanatic win #TeamIndia! Proud to be part of such an incredible team & winning this T20 series #ENGvIND! @ImRo45 you beauty! We can never get enough of you knocking those boundaries & What an amazing show by @hardikpandya7— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) July 8, 2018
Well done guys! 🇮🇳 @imVkohli @BCCI pic.twitter.com/5qV57lQdW4
“India never really got away from us, but we struggled to take wickets,” added Morgan. “They kept up with the rate, and then it was a position in the 16th or 17th over they could take the game away from us – which is disappointing.”
The Irishman does not believe England have to play perfectly to beat India in white-ball cricket – just very, very well.
“I’d say close to,” he said. “I don’t think we have to play a completely perfect game every time (to beat them) – we proved that at Cardiff. But certainly today they had their day.
“India were probably on top of their game today, and we weren’t – and we were just short.”
Morgan and acting coach Paul Farbrace had a difficult call to make before a ball was bowled, to accommodate the return of fit-again all-rounder Ben Stokes – and in the end it was Test captain Joe Root who was dropped.
Asked if the conversation with Root is among the toughest he has had as captain, Morgan said: “Yes. Dropping Joe is not an easy decision.
“Trying to win the game on this particular ground, it actually came down to Ben’s bowling option.
“If we had Joe as a sixth bowler – which we needed today – an extra spinner against India didn’t really match up that well.”