Morgan believes ‘sky’s the limit’ for England’s record-breaking batsmen
England recorded the highest one-day international score in history after making 481 for six against Australia.
England’s one-day international record-breakers are pushing the boundaries of what captain Eoin Morgan thought possible – and may yet have a world-first total of 500 within their capabilities.
Morgan admits he simply does not know if England may soon be able to better the new all-time high of 481 for six with which they overwhelmed Australia at Trent Bridge on the way to series-sealing victory by 242 runs.
After he himself also set a national record for the fastest ever half-century, from 21 balls, and became England’s highest ODI runscorer to boot, Morgan spoke of collective pride at so easily surpassing the previous chart-topping 444 for three his team made against Pakistan on this same ground two years ago.
It's all over at Trent Bridge, with England's world record-breaking 481 proving too much for Australia. Hales and Bairstow, the two centurions were unbelievable today. England win by 242 runs and lead the series 3-0! 🔥 #ENGvAUS pic.twitter.com/V5JaLPdlER— ICC (@ICC) June 19, 2018
Alex Hales (147), Jonny Bairstow (139) and fellow opener Jason Roy (82) established an unprecedented run-rate against Australia – and with Morgan then smashing 67 off 30 balls, the prized 500 briefly looked achievable.
Hales confirmed he and his captain thought so at least, even before they began their fourth-wicket stand of 124.
“When ‘Morgs’ came out, he said ‘if we’re ever going to (get 500), now’s the time’ – but we didn’t quite get there,” England’s man-of-the-match told Sky Sports.
The sky's the limit with these guys. Eoin Morgan
After spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali then shared seven wickets in Australia’s 239 all out, to put a first ever 5-0 ODI whitewash of their Ashes rivals on England’s agenda, Morgan suggested his team is perhaps on the verge of achieving things he would once have thought impossible.
“I think (we’re) definitely very close,” he said.
“In the position we found ourselves today, with six overs to go, we’d have never imagined – certainly after that game against Pakistan – that we’d come close, pass, maybe stare down the barrel of scoring 500.
“It’s a very proud day for us.
“The sky’s the limit with these guys.”
It was no surprise that Australia’s reply crumbled under such pressure, but Morgan was delighted England never loosened their grip.
“What was most pleasing was the level of intensity we operated at, and continued to operate at throughout the whole game,” he added.
“Every batter that came in, every bowler that came on – even though it was a really flat wicket – showed an unbelievable attitude.”
England’s previous highest total lasted less than two years as a world record, and Morgan already wonders whether this one will live any longer.
“The honest answer is I don’t know,” he said.
“We don’t know where the game will be this time next year, but certainly we are putting ourselves in the best position if we continue to challenge each other.”
By then, England will be in the throes of a home World Cup campaign of course – having already banked what he considers their best performance under his captaincy so far.
Morgan rues falling short of 500, but nothing else about a famous day.
“It is an opportunity missed, but I’m very proud of what we achieved today,” the Irishman added. “I think this is definitely the best performance by a stretch.
“This is certainly the best period of my career, and the proudest as well.”
For Morgan’s opposite number Tim Paine, it was an unenviable experience to watch his young attack dispatched to all parts after he had put England in.
“We just ran into some guys who are absolutely red-hot at the moment,” he said.
Paine was passed fit here after recovering from stitches above his lip after being hit in the face while wicketkeeping in the second ODI in Cardiff.
He added: “I thought I had some headaches in the last game, after the 25th over, when I got hit in the head. But I had a few more out there today.
“I’ve been playing cricket since I was a kid, and that’s the hardest day’s cricket I’ve ever had in my life.
“Everything we tried did not work.”