Broad tips Morgan to make his mark
Stuart Broad has hailed Eoin Morgan as “one of the best Twenty20 batsmen in the world” ahead of tomorrow’s encounter with West Indies at Trent Bridge.
Morgan lost his place in England’s Test team earlier this year and was limited to just one innings in the recent NatWest Series due to a combination of rain and the impressive form of the hosts’ top order.
A solitary NatWest International T20 against Darren Sammy’s men, which represents the final game of West Indies’ tour, therefore provides the left-hander with a useful opportunity to highlight his worth in a format in which he has previously excelled.
Broad, England’s T20 skipper, expects Morgan to play a lead role in an otherwise largely inexperienced batting line-up.
“We’ve seen some amazing performances from Eoin in Twenty20 cricket and one-dayers for a long time,” he said.
“He’s now probably our most experienced batsman in that set-up. Obviously we’ll be looking to him to make big contributions and share his experiences with the guys in the squad.
“He’s a key cog for us now in this England team and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do tomorrow.
“He’s always played a more prominent role, he’s up there as one of the best Twenty20 batsmen in the world.
“I think the role he has done for us over the past two years has been fantastic with his variety against the spin and his death hitting. He’ll be looking to continue that on.”
Tomorrow’s match is the first of four England face ahead of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, where they will aim to retain their crown.
Morgan and Craig Kieswetter are the only batsmen who remain from the 2010 success in the Caribbean as the likes of Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler and Samit Patel – none of whom have made more than eight appearances - have been drafted in.
“The squad has changed quite a lot since the World Twenty20 but as England players we are very proud of that title and we want to keep it,” Broad said.
“We have quite a short period of time and a short number of games until that World Cup so you want to make as much use of that as possible when we do get the opportunity.
“We are going to be a hugely inexperienced side going there to the sub-continent conditions so we are not expecting the world but we are going with a hugely talented squad and you know in t20 cricket it only takes two guys, like in 2010 - KP (Kevin Pietersen) and Kieswetter, who smashed it at the top and we won the tournament.
“It's very important that we learn as much as we can from each game that we play; with a very young team it's imperative. It’s about players taking responsibility and standing up.
Broad is certainly not concerned about a lack of experience within his squad.
“It's not something which worries me at all,” he said. “We've got guys who have performed in both domestic and international cricket here.
“Every time I turn on the TV Jos Buttler has got 60 not out for Somerset. We all know from Jonny Bairstow's debut in Cardiff against India that he is as dangerous as anybody at striking the ball.
“We've got players who don't have a lot of international experience but certainly have a huge amount of talent.”
Despite the changes in their team in the recent past England have still only lost one series since their World Twenty20 success – a one-off game against Sri Lanka last summer.
More recently they have secured away successes against Pakistan and India to win five of their past seven games.
A home defeat against a weakened West Indies was one of those losses at the back end of last summer and, with Chris Gayle returning to significantly bolster the tourists’ bid for a first win over England this term, Broad knows his side face a tough task to continue their winning ways.
“They’ve got some world-class players in the Twenty20 format. It’s hard to look past Chris Gayle as one of the best Twenty20 batsmen in the world,” he said.
“We know the dangers that they pose. We can take momentum from the one-day success and the Test success we’ve had against them, and also the form the Twenty20 side have shown in the past year or so.
“We’re playing some good cricket and we want to build on that.”