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Morgan ready for Mendis and Malinga

Icc World Twenty20

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Eoin Morgan is well aware of the two main tests England must overcome if they are to defeat Sri Lanka in their final World Twenty20 Super Eights clash.

Morgan and co know they may have to qualify for the semi-finals the hard way, by beating the hosts in their own climate.

Standing in their way are Ajantha Mendis and Lasith Malinga, a spin and seam duo with a fearsome reputation in the shortest form of the game.

“It is going to be a big challenge,” said Morgan.

“Guys like Malinga are always tough, because you haven’t faced them for such a long time and you aren’t in the habit of having the ball (delivered from) waist high from in front of the stumps - it’s different.

Ajantha Mendis

Ajantha Mendis, pictured, and Lasith Malinga are likely to pose the greatest threat to England but in-form Eoin Morgan is up for the challenge

“Mendis is the same; you obviously take a couple of balls to get yourself in.

“But in this format you rotate the strike in those balls - don’t block it, or leave it. There is a frame of mind to take them on rather than sit back.

“If they are allowed to bowl at us, the likelihood is they will be successful.”

England know from experience in this campaign already that they must get their tactics, and techniques, right against spin.

India’s Harbhajan Singh enjoyed notable success during a record defeat in Colombo last week.

“I think that was naive,” said Morgan. “We didn’t do the simple things right.

“We went for strokes that worked well in England and don’t work for us here - we have talked about that.

“We went back to reactive cricket, rather than being smart. It was almost a case of forgetting what we were trying to do - and we paid massive consequences.”

England’s batsmen have fared better since, first in defeat against West Indies and then by triumphing over New Zealand.

“The hammering we took against India was quite harsh,” said Morgan.

“But having come back against West Indies and shown that capability - the way Alex Hales and I batted (in a stand of 107) - was huge.

“Obviously, not getting over the line then - and coming so close - was a bit disheartening.

“But having done so (against New Zealand), in the fashion we did, puts us in a great position for this game.

“It puts a lot more emphasis on this match, but that just gets the blood flowing.”

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