Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England captain Eoin Morgan has said that he is treating his side’s Champions Trophy showdown against Australia on Saturday like his own personal Ashes.
England are already through to the semi-finals of the tournament, but Australia face a must-win situation in order to avoid being eliminated.
Knowing the precarious position his country’s arch-rivals are in, Morgan admitted that he would like nothing more than to send Australia crashing out of the event.
The reason Australia find themselves in this situation is due to the fact that their games against New Zealand and Bangladesh were washed out.
However, even if Australia manage to win, they are not necessarily guaranteed a spot in the last four.
“I’ve been in a position where I haven’t played in Ashes cricket, and certainly there are other guys down in the changing room [in the same situation],” Morgan said. “If you never get to play in an Ashes game, this is the closest you will ever get to beating an Australia team.”
England have undergone a stunning transformation since they were humiliated at the 2015 World Cup, where they failed to make it past the group stage.
In the two years that have passed, they have gone from rock bottom to being the favourites to win the Champions Trophy.
But, what is the reason behind their epic revival? According to assistant coach Paul Farbrace, Morgan has been “the single biggest influence”.
When asked for his own thoughts, the England skipper said: “I say things in selection meetings or meetings that we have as a team, and they might be a bit far-fetched – but when we back them up as a side, they’re not.
“I think that builds trust within a group. If you can demonstrate what you’re trying to say and achieve and you go and achieve that, I think it goes a long way within a side.
“Sometimes that can look a little bit reckless at times. I suppose it can put us in some sticky situations, but we’re in a position where we have nothing to lose.
“I don’t think you’re ever in total control. I don’t think you should ever assume you are. But certainly, I think at the moment people take my views with a bit more of a backing as opposed to maybe when I first started with no games under my belt.”
Meanwhile, Morgan reiterated his support for opener Jason Roy, who has struggled to have an impact as of late. In his last eight ODIs, the 26-year-old has only scored 64 runs at an average of eight.
“Jason speaks to everybody and understands that everybody goes through bad patches,” he said. “The thing that we emphasise is that we believe his score is around the corner. Let’s hope it’s tomorrow.”