Former England skipper Nasser Hussain feels that Eoin Morgan showed the immense value he brings to the England team with a tactical masterclass during their six-wicket win against West Indies on Saturday. He added that Morgan was bang-on with his match-ups and his bowlers delivered him the results of the same.
“There has been talk about Morgan’s position after a lean run of form, not least from the captain himself, but he showed his immense value to England with a tactical masterclass. It was the perfect demonstration of the match-ups you hear captains talking about in T20 these days and Morgan got every one of them spot-on,” wrote Hussain in his column for Daily Mail on Monday.
“It was a near-perfect start for England against West Indies. They were playing the holders and a side many expect to make a big impression, but Eoin Morgan’s side put in an outstanding performance. Losing four wickets in reaching the meager 56 they needed for victory was the only thing that stopped it from being 10 out of 10,” added Hussain.
Hussain explained how Morgan’s moves led to West Indies crashing to 56 all out. “It was a day for his belief in using data to be fully vindicated. Morgan saw four left-handers in West Indies’ top six and realised Moeen Ali would be a huge threat, so he bowled him early on. He held back Tymal Mills for Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell, then made sure the ball wasn’t pitched up to them. And then, when Mills was taken out of the attack with those two still in, Morgan turned to Adil Rashid to attack the right-handers and he dismissed them both.”
Praising Rashid’s spell of 4/2 in 2.2 overs, Hussain said, “Rashid continues to go from strength to strength. He bowls very few poor deliveries these days and has lots of variations. The ball out the front of his hand to dismiss Russell completely bamboozled the batter. On these pitches, Rashid will prove a trump card for Morgan.”
Hussain was also pleased by the international return of left-arm pacer Tymal Mills, who took 2/17 in four overs. “The captain can make all the right moves but the bowlers have to deliver and I was so pleased Mills did well on his return. I said last week he had to play in the absence of Jofra Archer and, with Mark Wood missing out with an ankle injury, Mills was the go-to man for pace and that heavy length into the pitch. His slower-ball variations are so hard to play, too.”
Hussain concluded by saying that he understood why top-order batter Dawid Malan was pushed down when England were chasing 56. “I could understand England pushing Dawid Malan down the order to try to win as quickly as possible. I was part of an England team who went out of a World Cup on net run-rate, so if anything I might have gone even harder than Morgan did.”
“As it was, England won in 8.2 overs, so you can’t argue with that and on these pitches, England may well need Malan to be the anchorman to make 70 off 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 suit their opponents.”