England captain Eoin Morgan says the team’s ability to “forge on” despite injury blows at the T20 World Cup has kept them positive ahead of Wednesday’s semi-final against New Zealand.
In-form opener Jason Roy and pace bowler Tymal Mills are the latest injury pullouts from an England squad that came into the tournament without star men Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer.
Roy injured his calf in the team’s only loss in the Super 12 stage as England finished the group top and take on the Kiwis in the first final-four clash on Wednesday.
“He’s played integral parts in our two previous World Cup campaigns, similarly to other guys that have been injured or have missed the tournament through injury,” Morgan told reporters on the eve of the clash in Abu Dhabi.
“Other guys have found something else within themselves to either try and fill that gap or contribute in a different way to the team.
“I think of all the things we’ve done well throughout this tournament, the strongest point has been the resilience within our squad to be able to find a way to move forward and forge on.”
Morgan, however, refused to reveal Roy’s replacement in the XI and Jos Buttler’s opening partner, but insisted the 50-over world champions will have to bring their best game to beat the Kiwis.
“The guys are extremely excited about the challenge against New Zealand and potentially the opportunity that might follow that,” said Morgan. “But we need to play really good cricket in order to beat them.”
A meeting between these two sides always brings back memories of the 2019 ODI World Cup final won by England after a super over and decided by the now-defunct boundary count tiebreaker.
England also beat the Black Caps in the semi-finals of the 2016 T20 World Cup and then got past them in another super-over decider in 2019.
But Morgan is aware of New Zealand’s consistency in reaching the semi-finals or finals of world events.
“We know how consistent they’ve been over the last number of World Cups, not only the recent ones but you look further and beyond Kane’s role as captain,” said Morgan.
“New Zealand have always been extremely competitive in and around semi-finals and finals, consistently, for some time now. So, we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Nearly all of the England players have stood up in their four wins in the Super 12 stage and Liam Livingstone made his presence felt with a 17-ball 28, albeit in the defeat by South Africa.
Morgan said he prized the batting all-rounder who can bowl off and leg spin.
“I’m a big fan of Liam,” Morgan said. “He’s a guy that has the ability to contribute a bit like Ben, at any stage of the game. And he plays a brand of cricket that makes it easy for him to come in and settle into the side.”
© Agence France-Presse