NASSER HUSSAIN: When it comes to the crunch, captain Eoin Morgan is still the main man for England – he has the guts to drop himself but he shouldn’t
- Eoin Morgan says he is prepared to drop himself for the upcoming World Cup
- But the captain’s value to this England side has always been more than just runs
- Surely England will want that calmness and cool exterior this tactical genius has
Eoin Morgan says he is prepared to drop himself during this World Cup if he doesn’t feel he warrants a place but I wouldn’t do that if I were him. The captain’s value to this England side has always been more than just his runs.
Morgan has driven England’s white-ball revolution and must now give himself the same backing and leeway he has shown to members of his side, when he has told them to go out and express themselves and stuck with them when it hasn’t come off.
If it were a bilateral series, then fine, leave yourself out if you are struggling for runs and give someone else a chance. But not in a T20 World Cup that represents the culmination of five years’ hard work since that last-over onslaught by Carlos Brathwaite.
England captain Eoin Morgan insisted he will drop himself if he feels he doesn’t warrant a place
I cannot imagine anybody with an interest in English cricket wanting anyone other than Morgan leading the side out for Saturday’s opening match here against West Indies.
When it comes down to those crunch moments on Saturday and throughout this tournament, England will want that calmness and cool exterior this tactical genius has.
Captaincy is vital in T20 cricket because it can be chaos. And you only have to look at the recent IPL to see that the finalists, Chennai and Kolkata, had two of the best white-ball captains the game has ever seen in MS Dhoni and Morgan in charge.
But his composure and superb tactical mind means he should start even if he is in poor form
Morgan has been short of runs in T20 cricket but he is an incredibly streaky player and out of nowhere he could produce three or four innings here that could transform the course of the tournament.
There have been times when he has been ruthless and single-minded as England captain, whether it be in dropping David Willey ahead of the last 50-over World Cup or in his attitude towards Alex Hales, where he has been very much not for turning.
So it will be a test of that single-mindedness should Morgan want to leave out Dawid Malan, for example, now or at any stage in this World Cup.
Morgan may have to tell Dawid Malan he will miss out – but he is capable of making the big calls
I know the feeling when you’re a captain who’s not getting any runs. You have to go up to someone and tell them they are missing out when they are playing better than you. It’s not easy.
But my gut-feel with Morgan is that he will still be absolutely capable of making the big calls irrespective of his own situation. He will not think twice of going up to Malan if it comes to it and saying, ‘Sorry, you’re not playing, but I am’.
Now is not the time for Morgan to doubt himself. He has to handle things as captain in the same way he has for the last six years. And that includes backing himself to play a crucial role in England’s attempt to win another World Cup.
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