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Morgan urges England to thrive with expectation


Driving on: Eoin Morgan wants to win more with England

Driving on: Eoin Morgan wants to win more with England

Driving on: Eoin Morgan wants to win more with England

Eoin Morgan is understandably confident England have a blueprint for success after their World Cup win but admitted how he and his team-mates adjust to the heightened expectations will be critical.

Having ascended to the top of the one-day rankings before ending their drought in global 50-over tournaments last year, England are the undisputed top dogs in the format ahead of the Royal London series against Ireland.

The opener today is England's first at home since being crowned world champions but the coronavirus pandemic means the homecoming will be played out in front of empty seats at the Ageas Bowl.

Morgan, though, declared he was "extremely happy" to be back playing in a three-match series in which England will be without Ben Stokes, Joe Root, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood due to their Test duties.

While a number of those who were part of the World Cup squad remain, this series is a chance for those on the fringes to make a case for themselves in the knowledge that England will have a target on their backs ahead of back-to-back T20 World Cups in the next two years and the defence of their 50-over crown in 2023.

But asked if it was more of a challenge to retain their title, Morgan said: "I would rather be in that position than not winning and having to find a winning formula.

"Winning last year has given our guys a huge amount of confidence in the process, strategy and planning which we went through over a four-year period.

"It allows us to go into every World Cup with that strategy and forward-thinking, contributing along the way the whole time in trying to continually get better. Seeing the finished product last year was an eye-opener for everybody who hadn't won a World Cup to date. But also, it creates a level of expectation everywhere we go.

"That's one that sits well with some of our guys, but for a lot of our guys, they haven't experienced that, so it's important to recognise what is expected of us moving forward because we want to win more trophies."

James Vince and Sam Billings, both of whom have been on the periphery of the side for a number of years, have been included despite modest records with batting averages of under 25 in 13 and 15 ODIs respectively.

Morgan added: "I think a lot of the perception is that they've almost had their chance and their time has gone. But going into the next World Cup we need experienced guys making good decisions under pressure.

"We'll continue to give out opportunities but it's up to those guys."

Belfast Telegraph