Frustrated England captain Eoin Morgan stays positive despite missed chances in Wellington
Eoin Morgan wants England to remain positive in the field despite a sloppy performance in which five catches went down as New Zealand levelled the Twenty20 international series.
James Vince shelled a couple of regulation catches and one extremely difficult one, Dawid Malan grounded a simple chance while wicketkeeper Sam Billings was unable to cling on to a sharp opportunity over his head.
The brightness of the sun in Wellington may have made catching difficult in a couple of cases but New Zealand’s total of 176-8 proved insurmountable for England, who subsided to 155 all out after 19.5 overs.
While Morgan acknowledged England’s performance in the field was not up to scratch in a 21-run defeat, they barely have any time to lick their wounds as the series continues in Nelson on Tuesday, a fact not lost on their captain.
“When you drop that amount of catches it’s not a great reflection on the performance and the levels of fielding that we aspire to be,” said Morgan. “There were a couple of catches that went in the sun which made it look a lot worse but as regards our standard catches, we expect more.
“I think it’s more of an attitude thing because there’s such a short turnaround, the natural default of any player is to step back and not commit to a 50-50 chance or their mindset changes to go back in their shell.
“That’s not what we want, we want guys continuing to attack the ball, find themselves in hot spots if they’re good enough and if they drop catches, they drop catches. That’s the nature of it.”
While England’s fielding display was sub-par, matters barely improved with the bat as only four players reached double figures, with several caught attempting to go straight over the top when the squarer boundaries were shorter.
Morgan was typically pragmatic about a defeat for a side containing a number of inexperienced internationals, as he said: “We have to make mistakes.
“If guys come in and smash it from the start and really find international cricket easy, I don’t think that’s a great opportunity given to guys.
“We want to see guys being pegged back and how they react from there.
“Chances will continue to come and opportunities will continue to come regardless of the result.”
Chris Jordan was one of the few in an England shirt to enhance his reputation, following up a stellar 3-23 with the ball with some belligerent hitting in his 36 from 19 deliveries, opener Malan top-scoring with 39
Jordan is up to second on England’s all-time list of T20 wicket-takers, going past Graeme Swann’s record of 51, to sit 13 behind Stuart Broad’s 65 scalps.
Morgan added: “He was exceptional. One of the reasons we combine these new guys with experienced players is to have them out on the field doing what they do.
“Having CJ out there with his experience and his execution is outstanding. He’s one of the best.”