Eoin Morgan ‘really proud’ to see England flourishing under new leadership

Eoin Morgan expressed his pride at England continuing to flourish under a new leadership that maintains the same ideals he adopted when turning the side from also-rans to world champions.

Morgan had an unenjoyable start to his reign as white-ball captain when England crashed out of the group stage of the 2015 50-over World Cup, which was a watershed moment for their ODI and T20 fortunes.

A more expansive and attack-minded philosophy was ushered in by Morgan and success swiftly followed, culminating in their historic 2019 World Cup triumph, before he retired from England duty in June.

Sri Lanka v England – T20 World Cup – Super 12 – Sydney Cricket Ground
Jos Buttler has stepped up into the role of England’s white-ball captain after being Eoin Morgan’s deputy (Dan Himbrechts/PA)

Jos Buttler has stepped up from his position as deputy under Morgan, working alongside new head coach Matthew Mott, and England have moved to within two wins of more silverware at the T20 World Cup.

Morgan feels they have done so with the same principles he ushered in during his time in charge, even if he feels Buttler has brought in some of his own ideas to stamp his authority on the team.

“I’m really proud sitting back and watching them continue to play positively, test the limits and be regarded as one of the best and handle that with ease, I’ve loved it,” Morgan said.

“Jos has been very authentic at the moment since he’s taken over. He’s been true to himself which I think you have to be as a leader. I think he’s been brilliant.

“He’s gone with decisions that he feels are right, whether it’s the balance of the side, the make-up of the team, how they want to play, but trying to achieve the same goals.”

Sri Lanka v England – T20 World Cup – Super 12 – Sydney Cricket Ground
Alex Hales has made three 50s in 13 innings since being recalled by England (Dan Himbrechts/PA)

One of Buttler’s major decisions is bringing back Alex Hales, who was sidelined by Morgan during his tenure after testing positive for a recreational substance on the eve of the 2019 World Cup.

Hales has made three 50s in 13 innings since he was recalled after Jonny Bairstow’s freak golfing injury, with crucial contributions in England’s must-win group games against New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

“He’s done brilliantly,” Morgan said. “The only thing that’s changed between the transition from one captain to the other is Jos has had the bad end of the stick with injuries.

“But everybody’s happy for (Hales) which is important not only for the team but for him.”

Morgan continues to play domestically but is now watching England’s progress from the other side of the boundary rope after taking up a commentary role with Sky Sports.

He is currently in Adelaide ahead of England’s semi-final against India on Thursday but is there any part of him that wishes he was still at the helm and preparing to lead the side out?

“There’s not one bit of me that wants to play in that game on Thursday or even wants to play on Sunday (in the final at the MCG), not one bit,” he said with a smile.

“The game is so hard and the smallest mistake you think is the biggest mistake because it can cost you. I’m very happy this side of the fence.”

England head into the contest against Rohit Sharma’s side as marginal underdogs and Morgan acknowledged they will have to be on top of their game to move into the marquee match to face Pakistan.

“You’re playing against arguably one of the most destructive Indian teams, particularly with the bat, that has played T20 cricket in a long time,” Morgan said.

“You’re going to have to produce close to your best.”

:: Watch England’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup semi-final against India live on Sky Sports Cricket on Thursday from 8am