Morgan wants more from England despite series win
The England captain saw room for improvement after the 4-1 success.
Eoin Morgan emphasised the high standards he will hold England to by insisting his side had been short of their best despite a 4-1 series win over Australia.
Morgan captained the tourists to a comprehensive one-day triumph after the dark days of the Ashes, toppling the hosts in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth.
Trouncing the reigning world champions on their own soil is a fine feather in England’s cap as they build towards a home World Cup in 2019, but there is no chance of getting carried away with Morgan at the helm.
“The big thing I’d emphasise to come from this series was the character within the side. I don’t think we played well at all throughout the series,” he told ECB.co.uk.
“I still think we have a while to go. The consistency with the bat has faded off a little bit and it had probably been our strongest point (previously).
“But on the other hand you’ve got some exceptional performances by the bowlers. They’ve stepped up in the series probably more than our batters.
“That’s a huge positive for us, particularly in 50-over cricket when you can go through lulls of not taking wickets. I thought our guys stood up really well.”
Reflecting on the contest as a whole, he added: “We said at the start of the series we might learn a lot and might open up some cracks but I certainly didn’t think we’d learn as much as this or get quite so much confidence.”
One of the bowlers who took the chance to impress Morgan was Tom Curran, unused in the first three matches but a match-winner in Sunday’s dramatic finale in Perth.
The 22-year-old claimed five for 35 in just his third appearance, taking the key scalps of David Warner and Glenn Maxwell before skittling the tail to seal a 12-run win at the first day of business at the new Optus Stadium.
“We made 260 which is not really a competitive score anywhere you go,” said Morgan.
“But Tom bowled well up front and to get Maxwell at the stage he did was brilliant. Coming back and being an exponent of reverse swing like that was outstanding.”
For Morgan’s counterpart Steve Smith, the time has come to ponder Australia’s faltering one-day form.
Things have been going awry for at least a year in the format and, though he has made it clear he wants to remain in post, he has signalled there must be changes.
“We’ve got to start playing better white-ball cricket as a whole,” he said.
“Obviously after this series we’re going to have a good, hard look at everything in our one-day cricket. Right now I’m looking forward to a rest. It’s been a long summer and I haven’t contributed the way I would have liked in this series.”