England skipper Eoin Morgan has heaped praise on opening batsman Jason Roy for his destructive batting display, despite narrowly going down to South Africa by one run on Wednesday, writes ANDRE HUISAMEN.
In a very dramatic ending to the first T20I at Buffalo Park in East London, the Proteas claimed victory off the final ball of the match, thanks to some fine death bowling by Lungi Ngidi.
Morgan, though, paid tribute to Roy’s ability to put the best of bowling attacks under pressure with his power-hitting.
‘He is a game changer. Our top three is probably three of the finest batsmen in white-ball cricket we’ve ever produced. To see one of them come off today [Wednesday] is very easy on the eye, very commanding and empowering at the crease, which is fantastic. We know when Jason is in fine form we win games of cricket,’ said Morgan, who contributed a valiant 52 runs.
Speaking about the value tight finishes like that adds to the experience of his team, the left-hander took a lot of positives from England’s performance but admitted they will need to be more clinical, heading into Friday’s second T20I in Durban.
‘Experiences like this, particularly with the World Cup around the corner are so valuable to the team. We learn more about both sides when they’re put under a bit of pressure and today [Wednesday] was a fine example of that. Both teams really gave it absolutely everything, left everything on the field. Losing a game by one run, you can try and make it up somewhere along the line but in all three departments we can make up more than that.
‘Particularly in the chase we were always in a commanding position and didn’t manage to take advantage of that. South Africa came back extremely well, Ngidi probably changed the game – full credit to them, they bowled extremely well and very effective on this wicket. Hopefully we’ll learn more and move on from it on a positive note,’ Morgan said.
With no rain predicted in Durban on Friday, England will need to avoid defeat in order to keep the series alive, which will conclude at SuperSport Park on Sunday.
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