NASSER HUSSAIN: Eoin Morgan offered a tactical masterclass in the victory over the West Indies in the T20 World Cup
NASSER HUSSAIN: Eoin Morgan showed his courage for England with a tactical masterclass in victory over the West Indies and Adil Rashid will demonstrate his trump card in the T20 World Cup
It was an almost perfect start for England against the West Indies. They played with the headlines and a team many hope to make a big impression, but Eoin Morgan’s team had an outstanding performance.
Losing four wickets to reach the meager 56 they needed for victory was the only thing that kept him from being 10 out of 10.
There has been talk of Morgan’s position after a slump in form, mostly from the captain himself, but he showed his immense value for England with a tactical masterclass.
Eoin Morgan (right) handled his bowlers brilliantly as England slipped through the West Indies.
The England captain (right) steadied the boat with the bat to watch his team at home.
It was a day for his belief in data usage to be fully vindicated. Morgan saw four lefties in the West Indies top six and realized that Moeen Ali would be a huge threat, so he dropped him early on.
He stopped Tymal Mills for Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell, then made sure the ball wasn’t thrown at them.
And then when Mills was pulled out of the attack with those two still in, Morgan turned to Adil Rashid to attack the right-handers and fired them both.
Adil Rashid (left) took four wickets in 2.2 overs as England pitched the Windies for 55
Moeen Ali took two wickets for just 17 runs, his best bowling figures in international cricket
Rashid keeps getting better and better. It makes very few poor deliveries these days and has a lot of variations.
The ball that came out of the front of his hand to fire Russell completely misled the batter. In these releases, Rashid will prove to be a trump card for Morgan.
It was the perfect demonstration of the matchups you hear from captains in T20 these days and Morgan got them all right.
The captain can make all the right moves, but the bowlers have to comply and he was very happy that Mills did well on his return.
Tymal Mills celebrates taking Nicholas Pooran’s wicket, his second of the match
Mills (center) gives England a genuine pace in the absence of injured Jofra Archer
I said last week that I had to play in the absence of Jofra Archer and, with Mark Wood missing to an ankle injury, Mills was the go-to man for his pace and great length on the field.
Its slower ball variations are also very difficult to play.
The West Indies were naive. They are much better than what they showed on Saturday. They didn’t use their thought processes at all.
They felt they could intimidate the ball for six deliveries every two, but Dubai is a big field and they were trying to hit while England defended those big limits.
Chris Gayle was the only West Indies hitter to reach double digits by scoring 13 runs.
It was not a day to tear it apart.
We’ve seen some low-scoring matches so far and teams may have to re-evaluate their plans, like at the last 50-year-old World Cup in England, and hit the ball.
At times, 150 will be enough in this World Cup.
He could understand England pushing Dawid Malan down in order to try to win as quickly as possible.
Kieron Pollard admitted that the West Indies’ performance against England was’ unacceptable ‘
I was part of an England team that came out of a World Cup on net run rate, so if anything, I could have gone even harder than Morgan.
As it was, England won in 8.2 overs so you can’t argue with that and on these pitches England may need Malan to be the anchor to make 70 of 60 balls in future games.
They are in good shape as they head to Abu Dhabi to face Bangladesh on what will be another slow surface that should adapt to their opponents.