England’s newcomers leave captain Eoin Morgan facing some tricky decisions ahead of T20 World Cup

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Liam Livingstone celebrates his century (Getty Images)
Liam Livingstone celebrates his century (Getty Images)

An exploratory summer for Eoin Morgan’s England team ended with a fourth series win last night in a thrilling final T20 against Pakistan before a pumping packed house.

Morgan, unsurprisingly, was delighted with the result and England’s summer as a whole, saying that it “adds value to our squad” for October’s T20 World Cup.

“This series we have gained a lot more than we have previously,” said the skipper. “Particularly the games where guys were under pressure to perform and came up with the goods. I thought that was outstanding.”

Despite being forced to use 26 different players, and calling up nine more who did not play, England lost just one of their 12 white-ball matches. Jofra Archer was not involved at all, while Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler played just three games each.

Of the 26, Liam Livingstone is, by some distance, the biggest winner. Others who advanced their cause include Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson, James Vince and David Willey.

Livingstone played all six T20s, filling a number of roles and barging his way into their T20 World Cup XI. The combination of all-sorts spin and six-hitting prowess makes him a banker somewhere in a congested top seven.

At the tail end of the campaign, there were also signs of a revival from Moeen Ali, Livingstone’s most obvious rival. Exactly how England fit the returning Stokes into their T20 side is unclear.

One option is to bring him in for Dawid Malan at No3, which would provide a second all-rounder in the top six and leave one conditions-dependent place up for grabs - Moeen’s spin or Sam Curran’s left-arm seam at No7.

Malan has had a tricky campaign, although we must acknowledge the personal reasons that led to him leaving the bubble last month. He averaged 20 and struck at 108 in T20s, while also recording two ducks in three ODI innings.

In an ICC rankings update today, he retained his No1 status. Morgan was quick to defend Malan, particularly for his innings of 31 from 33 balls in the chase of 155 last night.

“I see him playing a big role in our team,” said Morgan. “Just because he’s had a quiet series doesn’t mean to say he’s not a good player.

“He’s done exceptional things for us over a long period of time. I think tonight’s game actually suited his game more than most.”

Morgan, who says England will not decide their World Cup squad until they know which venues their games will be played at, was particularly pleased with his side’s improving ability to counter spinning pitches.

“We know our weakest point is when it’s not so easy,” he said. “Tonight, [at times] the ball turned a lot and was quite slow off the wicket. [That’s] extremely pleasing.”

Read More

Adil Rashid helps England to stunning T20 series win over Pakistan after tense Old Trafford thriller

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting