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World Cup T20: Eoin Morgan urges England to improve their game before New Zealand semi-final

Eoin Morgan urges England to improve their game ahead of their T20 World Cup semi-final clash with New Zealand … and the captain admits ‘we can’t wait’ as they try to become the first team to unite the ball trophies cricket white

  • England face New Zealand in their T20 World Cup semi-final on Wednesday
  • Eoin Morgan’s team is two games away from matching cricket’s cue ball trophies
  • Captain Morgan has also insisted that ‘we can’t wait’ with a place in the final on the line
  • Kane Williamson of New Zealand has revealed that he is enjoying the ‘big challenge’


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Eoin Morgan has called on England to improve their game for their T20 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand, with his team just two games away from becoming the first to unite the two cricket white ball trophies.

“We can’t wait,” he said before the showdown in Abu Dhabi, with the prize of a final in Dubai on Sunday against Australia or Pakistan for the winner.

“It was a great achievement in itself to get through the group stage like we did, topping the table. But now it is about producing the best possible. We know how good New Zealand is. ‘

Eoin Morgan has urged England to improve their game for their T20 World Cup semi-final clash

Eoin Morgan has urged England to improve their game for their T20 World Cup semi-final clash

England is likely to react to starter Jason Roy’s calf injury that ended the tournament by moving Jonny Bairstow up and placing Sam Billings in the middle order.

Morgan, for his part, also believes that leading his team to the final despite missing several key figures would be one of his greatest achievements as captain.

Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Sam Curran were unavailable before the tournament, while Roy and Tymal Mills suffered their own aptitude blows.

Morgan's side (pictured) takes on New Zealand with the prize of a final this weekend at stake

Morgan's side (pictured) takes on New Zealand with the prize of a final this weekend at stake

Morgan’s side (pictured) takes on New Zealand with the prize of a final this weekend at stake

Holding his cards close to his chest on his pick, Morgan explained that tomorrow’s victory would represent a significant moment.

“You may just get to the final and lose, but reaching the final would be a great achievement,” Morgan said.

In addition to Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali are also candidates to move up the ranks of being Jos Buttler’s partner.

“We are blessed with guys who can hit at the top of the order and really want to,” Morgan added. “If you look at the top run scorers, all the big-name players want to hit or are in the top three on every team.

Starter Jos Buttler will have a new teammate after Jason Roy's tournament-ended calf injury

Starter Jos Buttler will have a new teammate after Jason Roy's tournament-ended calf injury

Starter Jos Buttler will have a new teammate after Jason Roy’s tournament-ended calf injury

We’re lucky to have guys queuing up and wanting to hit in the top three, which is great because they want to go head-to-head with the big name players in the tournament and the big name bowlers in the opposition. .

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said: ‘They have match winners across their team. But we also have several match winners. It’s a great challenge against England. ‘

Williamson has admitted that his team looks back fondly for being part of the 2019 World Cup final against England, even though his team lost in the exciting showdown.

The Black Caps were made to watch England lift their first world trophy over 50, following a tied score and super grip.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson called the semi-final match a 'great challenge'

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson called the semi-final match a 'great challenge'

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson called the semi-final match a ‘great challenge’

Despite the boundary countdown rule proving divisive at the time, Williamson is eager to draw a line under the controversy and is enjoying the next encounter.

“Everybody has a different opinion on it, you know, having ties and boundary counts and all these kinds of dramatic things that some games decide, or not so much anymore,” Williamson said.

“ But it was an amazing game to be a part of and certainly all the guys, when it comes up in conversation, they look back fondly and we appreciate that experience.

England beat the Black Caps to clinch the 2019 World Cup, but Williamson is eager to move on

England beat the Black Caps to clinch the 2019 World Cup, but Williamson is eager to move on

England beat the Black Caps to clinch the 2019 World Cup, but Williamson is eager to move on

‘At the time, all the sequels were very difficult to understand and maybe didn’t make a lot of sense, but it is what it is: you sign up, you play by the rules, you go ahead and wait for the next challenges.

“As a group, they continue to grow fast and that’s where we like to put our focus. Not long after that, there was a test cricket approach.

“Now we are in a T20 World Cup and cricket continues to advance.”

FIVE THINGS ENGLAND SHOULD DO

by Lawrence Booth in Dubai

Attack on New Zealand spinners

Ish Sodhi’s broken legs and Mitchell Santner’s sluggish left arms have stifled opponents throughout the World Cup, with a combined 6.86 over. If England’s hitters let them get into the groove, the middle overs will fly before they know it.

Fine tune

Eoin Morgan admitted that his team’s intent on the field was not present during the loss to South Africa, when England gave away three shots, one through Mark Wood’s boot. That followed what could have been a crucial loss for Chris Woakes against Sri Lanka. Such carelessness will cost them against New Zealand.

Find a way if Buttler fails

Buttler’s lowest score in five Super 12 innings was 18 against Bangladesh. Otherwise, you have always led the charge. But Jason Roy’s injury leaves England in a tough spot: If Buttler fails, as the law of averages dictates he must at some point, others will have to stand up. In their current form, Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone seem the most likely.

Strike early

Two of New Zealand’s most dangerous hitters are starters Martin Guptill and Daryl Mitchell. Split them up in the power game and England can pitch Kane Williamson and Devon Conway, whose World Cup strike rates are modest 98 and 102. They are both high-class players, but they can be passive against spin.

Avoid getting stuck

So far, it has hardly been a problem. England’s run rate in the tournament of 8.76 is higher than anyone else, including undefeated Pakistan (8.51), and more than a run above New Zealand (7.60). But Dawid Malan’s strike rate has been 111 and Morgan’s 116. England will have to be smart when deciding which hitters to pair and which to keep apart.

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