Eoin Morgan insists England MUST win next year’s 50-over World Cup to go down as one of the greatest white-ball sides ever… as the former skipper hails Jos Buttler’s tactical evolution during their triumphant World T20 campaign
- After winning the World T20, England hold both major white-ball world titles
- Ex-skipper Eoin Morgan said they now must win the 50-over World Cup in 2023
- He claimed this is to ensure they go down as one of the great white-ball sides
- He also hailed Jos Buttler’s tactical evolution as captain during the World T20
Eoin Morgan says England need to win next year’s 50-over World Cup – and possibly the T20 equivalent in 2024 – if they want to go down as one of greatest white-ball sides of all time.
Morgan, who retired from international cricket in June, says the team is now ‘100 per cent’ Jos Buttler’s following England’s triumph at the T20 World Cup in Australia, where they became the first men’s side to hold both limited-overs trophies at the same time.
And he believes Buttler has grown in stature as a leader, after a tricky summer in which England won only four white-ball matches out of 11 against India and South Africa.
England won the World T20 last week to become the first side to hold both white-ball titles
Eoin Morgan said England need to win next year’s 50-over World Cup – and possibly the T20 equivalent in 2024 – if they want to go down as one of greatest white-ball sides of all time
But Morgan argued that their legacy remains up for grabs, with a pair of title defences to come in the next two years: the one-day World Cup in India, then the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the US.
‘Jos said before the semi-final against India it’s no good just being remembered as a side that was aggressive and threatening and everyone loved watching but never won anything,’ Morgan told Sportsmail.
‘He said we need something tangible. There is the opportunity to do that, next year with the 50 overs and the following year, to go again and possibly again. Because we have the players, the trust within the group and the formula.
‘There’s no reason why you can’t end up at the pointy end of the World Cup again. I think Jos will judge himself on that.’
Morgan will team up again with Buttler, as well as England Test coach Brendon McCullum, when they launch a ‘Festival of Cricket’ at Gunnersbury Park in west London next July.
But for now he is enjoying Buttler’s growth as captain – a process which proved less straightforward than some imagined after Morgan, the mastermind behind England’s white-ball revolution and winner of the 2019 World Cup, stepped down.
Morgan (L) was captain when England won the 2019 50-over World Cup but retired from international duty earlier this year
‘There’s a change of voice and messaging, and it takes time to land,’ he said. ‘People are human beings. They don’t trust someone automatically, even though they’ve been playing with someone for ages – they like things that are familiar things, that work and that they trust. But it’s 100% his team. It’s definitely happened now.’
Morgan was in Australia as a commentator, but also acted as a ‘sounding-board’ for Buttler as England went from strength to strength after a shock defeat by Ireland. With the ball nipping around in an unusually damp Australian summer, Morgan admitted he ‘did question whether the conditions would suit us’.
But he says Buttler’s evolution was critical. ‘His strategy was way better at the back end of the tournament. It’s about creating something out of nothing. Adil Rashid’s bowling here, so I’m going to put in a slip, say, or I’m going to have a midwicket now.
He also hailed the tactical evolution of Jos Buttler as captain over their World T20 campaign
‘It’s about letting the game come to you a little bit and choosing the opportunities to play your cards. I felt that got better as the tournament went on. Obviously his performance with the bat did as well, so he grew in stature and trust.’
Does Morgan have any regrets that he called it a day before England managed to unite the white-ball trophies?
‘Someone asked me before the semi-final if I’d like to put the pads on, and I genuinely couldn’t think of anything worse,’ he said. ‘I’ve loved every day since I’ve finished.
‘I was absolutely over the moon when they won. If anything, I’m more proud watching them than I was as a player.’