Eoin Morgan says England are likely to rotate their side during the IT20 series against Pakistan with players given a “last chance” to impress before the T20 World Cup this autumn.
A revamped England side dominated the one-day international series after the initial squad was forced into self-isolation due to a coronavirus outbreak and while the majority of the first-choice group are back for the T20s, stars of the 50-over triumph – Saqib Mahmood, Lewis Gregory and Matt Parkinson – are also included in the squad.
With the T20 World Cup now just three months away, this series represents one of the last opportunities for Morgan to assess his options ahead of the tournament, and it’s one he intends to take.
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When asked if there would be more rotation among England’s squad of 16 for the three-match series, Morgan said; “There are very few opportunities [left], and not knowing what is ahead of ourselves, we need to look a little bit more at our strength in depth.
“You’ll see opportunities for the guys in the squad over the course of the next three games – going through various different options for possible injury replacements for certain players.
“That’s the priority throughout the series, treating it as our last chance to look at guys in various different positions.”
One area that England are keen to improve is their death bowling which could provide Mahmood, in particular, with a chance to shine after his player of the series performance in the ODIs.
England vs Pakistan
July 16, 2021, 6:00pm
“I think everybody is going to get an opportunity to bowl at the death,” Morgan said.
“Everybody will have a chance. Saqib is coming off a pretty big high of bowling well in the one-day series, but obviously T20 is a different game.
“Certainly in the first couple of games they probably weren’t exposed in the death bowling side of things because they bowled so well (at the start), so it’s an opportunity in these three games to look at guys under pressure.”
While Morgan insists he was not surprised by what he saw from any of the players drafted in at late notice for the ODIs, when asked about Mahmood and Gregory, he noted the improvement in their games in the time since they last featured for England and also highlighted the contribution of James Vince after his century in the third ODI.
“They’ve done themselves the world of good, to be honest,” he added. “The one thing you look at when guys come in and out of a side, particularly when they don’t have the opportunity to play a lot, is a marked improvement from the time they got the opportunity to the next time an opportunity might arise.
“The two guys you mentioned, in particular, and James Vince, were outstanding throughout the one-day series.
“When you look at a guy like James Vince, coming into the prime of his career at 30 years old, he knows his game inside out, he’s very mature and the innings that he played at Edgbaston really does show the strength and depth within our side.
“Sitting back and watching the way the guys played alone – without the results that they achieved – was hugely satisfying. They played an exciting brand of cricket, they looked like they really enjoyed themselves and the results came with that. All round, it was hugely beneficial to everyone.”
Watch the first T20 international between England and Pakistan, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 6pm on Friday.
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