ICC Champions Trophy

Morgan confident of avoiding repeat NZ thrashing

2017-06-05 20:17
Eoin Morgan (Getty Images)

Cardiff - England captain Eoin Morgan has insisted his side have learnt the lessons from their "men against boys" defeat by New Zealand at the 2015 World Cup as they prepare to face the Black Caps in the Champions Trophy.

Two years ago, England's woeful first-round exit from the last International Cricket Council 50-over tournament included a humiliating eight-wicket thrashing by New Zealand in Wellington.

England were dismissed for 123, with Tim Southee taking seven wickets for 33 runs.

The Black Caps then piled on the agony for England by racing to their target in a mere 12.2 overs, with now-retired skipper Brendon McCullum hitting 77 off just 25 balls, including seven sixes.

But England matched that aggressive approach during a subsequent 2015 home one-day international series that saw them emerge 3-2 winners over New Zealand.

Now they meet again, in their second group match of the Champions Trophy -- a tournament featuring the world's top eight ODI teams -- in Cardiff on Tuesday.

"They were one of the favourites going into the (World Cup) tournament and proved that against us that day in Wellington," Morgan told reporters in Cardiff on Monday as he reflected a Blackcaps side that made it all the way to the final before New Zealand lost to co-hosts Australia.

"It was sort of men against boys," Morgan said of England's crushing loss. "But I think it's completely different now -- two years down the line.

"We've got a completely new team, pretty much."

However, England's XI in Cardiff could feature five survivors from that World Cup clash, including fast bowler Steven Finn, hammered for 49 runs in two overs, mainly as a result of McCullum's blazing hitting.

Morgan though believes England's experience over the past two years has imbued the side with greater self-belief when it comes to white-ball cricket as a whole.

"It has to do with confidence ... (and) we come into this tournament full of confidence," he said.

"The dominant factor in New Zealand was that they had that confidence ... whereas we didn't."

Finn, not an original member of England's Champions Trophy squad, was called up after fellow paceman Chris Woakes suffered a tournament-ending side strain during the hosts opening eight-wicket Group A win over Bangladesh at the Oval last week.

He could come straight back into the side if, as happened at the Oval, England opt against playing a specialist spinner, with the short straight boundaries in Cardiff often tough to defend for slow bowlers.

Morgan, who came through the ranks with Finn at county side Middlesex, said: "I'd have no hesitation in playing him tomorrow (Tuesday) if we felt it was the right thing to do."

Meanwhile Morgan was sanguine about the prospect of playing cricket against the backdrop of recent terror attacks in Manchester and London that have, in total, killed 29 people.

Saturday's attack at London Bridge took place both near the Oval and a hotel being used by some England players.

Morgan, asked if the players could concentrate on the job at hand, cited the way England had defeated South Africa in a bilateral series ODI in Leeds just two days after the Manchester attack as evidence they could do that.

"I think we can," he said. "I think we proved that in Leeds after what happened in Manchester."

The ICC indicated security measures had been enhanced after the Manchester attack and Morgan was happy with the arrangements that had been put in place for his side.

"I haven't spoken to any players from other teams in the tournament," he said. "But certainly within our team, there are no concerns."

Read more on:    england  |  champions trophy  |  eoin morgan  |  cricket
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