Belfast Telegraph

Morgan calls for focus after dramatic collapse

 

By Rory Dollard

Eoin Morgan has demanded England's batsmen maintain their aggressive outlook despite his a dramatic mis-fire against Australia in Adelaide.

Having sewn up the series 3-0 in Sydney, the fourth one-day international saw England return to the scene of their 2015 World Cup defeat by Bangladesh - the wake-up call which inspired a comprehensive overhaul of the country's 50-over cricket.

This time they lost their first five wickets for just eight runs, a collapse for the ages on Australia Day and one from which they never fully recovered, despite Chris Woakes' face-saving 78.

But Morgan, whose side will be hoping to finish on a high in Perth on Sunday, insists there is no going back.

"We don't want to lose our positive mindset but it's a balancing act," he said after Australia chased down 197 with three wickets and 13 overs in hand.

"It was about finding a balance, to take the game to them but also get through a tough period. We don't want to wipe 10 overs out of the game and say 'they bowled well so we only got 15-20 runs'.

"We still want to take the game forward. I'd rather probably be 40 for two than 20 for none. We just need to get better at playing that way."

Morgan's scratchy 33 made him the only member of the top six to contribute at all, with three singles from Alex Hales alongside four ducks, and he paid tribute to Australia's strike bowlers.

Pat Cummins turned in a career-best of four for 24, with Josh Hazlewood taking three for 39 in a fierce new-ball examination.

The pair maximised helpful early conditions after unexpected early morning showers and Morgan wore the look of a man who rued losing the toss.

"With some rain around and moisture in the air we predicted it might move around, but not for as long is it did," he said.

"Australia took advantage of conditions and really were relentless with traditional line and length. They gave us literally nothing - they bowled really, really well."

Belfast Telegraph

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