Eoin Morgan’s in it for the long run as England’s World Cup-winning ODI captain refuses to rule out leading their defence in 2023 – when he’ll be 36
- Eoin Morgan will consider extending his England career until the next World Cup
- The Dublin-born star plans to play in both of the upcoming T20 tournaments
- The England captain believes he is currently in the best form of his career
- The world champions will play South Africa in the first of three ODIs on Tuesday
Eoin Morgan leads out his England team as world champions for the first time on Tuesday refusing to discount fronting their title defence in India in 2023.
Although Morgan did not commit to it fully, either, there were definite signs that the 33-year-old is on board for the long haul as he vowed to extend his limited-overs captaincy to the second of two Twenty20 World Cups in as many years.
That represents an upgrade on comments before Christmas, when he said he would reassess things after the first of those tournaments in Australia this coming autumn. That would take him to November 2021, just 15 months shy of the next 50-over World Cup on the subcontinent.
Eoin Morgan is open to the idea of leading England in their defence of the Cricket World Cup
Asked about seeing things through to February 2023, Morgan said: ‘I haven’t looked that far ahead. I’ve looked at the next two T20 World Cups and I feel in a good enough space right here and now to be able to say I’m hoping to be here for both of them.
‘Things change. When you make decisions to stay on or continue, the majority of the time that decision is taken out of your hands. So for me it’s a matter of focusing on this year’s T20 World Cup, doing the best we can to put ourselves in a position to try to win it and then look beyond that as well.’
Since dismissing thoughts of calling international cricket quits in the aftermath of July’s dramatic Super Over win over New Zealand at Lord’s, the Dublin-born player has been able to reflect that his personal returns have spiked rather than dropped during his captaincy.
Morgan has vowed to extend his limited-overs captaincy to the second of two T20 World Cups
SOUTH AFRICA vs ENGLAND
SOUTH AFRICA (probable): De Kock (capt, wkt), R Hendricks, Bavuma, Van der Dussen, Miller, Smuts, Phehlukwayo, Shamsi, Sipamla, Ngidi, B Hendricks.
ENGLAND (probable): Roy, Bairstow (wkt), Root, Morgan (capt), Denly, Banton, S Curran, Woakes, T Curran, Jordan, Parkinson.
TV and radio: LIVE on Sky Sports and talkSPORT2 from 11am.
‘Over the last four years I have been in the best form of my life. The level of experience I have now has enabled me to grow in confidence as a leader and allowed me to be the best version of myself,’ he said.
‘Making the decision towards the end of last summer, things became clearer and more evident when I had time to think, sit back and reflect. Certainly coming back from New Zealand from five T20 internationals, the way that I played and felt physically, I felt really good.’
Indeed, Morgan averaged 46.08 in ODIs in the last World Cup cycle, considerably higher than his overall career mark of 39.71. His T20 average is also up to 30.53 since April 2015, compared to 29.41 previously.
‘Over the last four years I have been in the best form of my life,’ the 33-year-old captain said
From a squad perspective, the onus is now on expanding England’s bank of limited-overs experience. With Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler rested, Joe Denly and debutant Tom Banton will be asked to bat at numbers five and six.
Another rookie in Lancashire leg-spinner Matt Parkinson is set to be exposed in a bowling attack lacking the high-end pace of Jofra Archer or Mark Wood.
Opponents South Africa are in transition themselves under new captain Quinton de Kock. Their squad boasts only four players from their latest ODI — the surprise win over Australia at Old Trafford seven months ago.
History is with the hosts. England have not defeated South Africa in five previous matches at Newlands. Then again, they have not been international cricket’s undisputed No 1 50-over team, either.
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