Manchester - England limited overs captain Eoin Morgan said the national
side had shown they "could beat the best in the world in any game of
cricket" after ensuring New Zealand's tour ended on a losing note.
Having defeated New Zealand - who thrashed England by eight wickets at
Wellington in February en route to the World Cup final - 3-2 in a thrilling
one-day international series, Morgan's men inflicted a 56-run thrashing upon
the Black Caps in Tuesday's tour-ending Twenty20 international at Old Trafford.
"This felt a million miles away after the World Cup," said Morgan
of a global tournament where England suffered a humiliating first-round exit
without beating a single rival Test nation.
"This is a fantastic way to finish what has been a great month of
cricket," he added.
"When you're trying to implement change within a group it's important
to have successes along the way and these guys have had that.
"We've done it the way we said we would and that's important too.
"I want these guys to play with as much freedom as possible."
Man-of-the-match Joe Root top-scored with 68 in England's 191 for seven, but
New Zealand were well-placed at 88 for two and requiring 104 off the last 12
overs for victory.
However, they suffered a batting collapse that saw their final five wickets
lost for just four runs in 12 balls.
New Zealand were dismissed for 135, with Kane Williamson's typically elegant
57 a rare highlight.
England Twenty20 international debutants David Willey, who also ran out
Williamson with a brilliant pick-up and throw from cover, and Mark Wood took
three wickets apiece.
For England, who shared a two-match Test series 1-1 with New Zealand earlier
in the season, it was an ideal way to sign off before they begin their bid to
regain the Ashes from Australia next month.
"Now we have won this game and the ODI series it reinforces to the guys
that, it might not always come off, but we can beat the best in the world in
any game of cricket," said Morgan, not currently in England's Test side.
By contrast, at the age of just 24, Yorkshire batsman Root is now an England
mainstay in all three international formats.
"Joe has been outstanding again," said Morgan. "Although he's
still very young he's a very senior player in our squad and the guys don't have
to look very far for the ultimate professional in the way he goes about his
Root said he was enjoying England's increasingly bold approach, even if he
could not quite understand how it had come about.
"It's hard to explain, everyone has gone out this summer with a freedom
and it's really refreshing to see everyone commit to it and absolutely go for
it," Root told Sky Sports.
For New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, whose typically rapid 35 off 15
balls gave the crowd a taste of what they can expect when he returns to Old
Trafford on Friday with Warwickshire for a Twenty20 county match against
Lancashire, it was a desperately disappointing end to what had otherwise been a
closely contested tour.
"Some of our batting was pretty amateurish," McCullum said.
"We got ourselves in a good position and we should have been able to chase
down the total.
"Credit to England, they put us under pressure and looked for wickets
as they have done throughout the series and they were able to get hold of