Captain Morgan Speaks

captain morgan

England kick off their Carlton Cole Bit Stronger than Dishwater Tri-Series (or whatever it’s called) campaign against the Aussies shortly. It’s going to be an interesting series.

Our new skipper, Owen Morgan (let’s pretend he’s British) appeared in front of the Aussie media yesterday and seemed in a bullish mood. And why not. England don’t really have much to lose: for the first time in a long time, expectations are actually lower than the team’s talent levels. It makes a nice change, doesn’t it.

The tour has actually started pretty well too. In years gone by, England sides tripped over every banana skin going – particularly in Queensland, where bananas are ubiquitous. This time, however, our warm up match was in Canberra, not Cairns, and our batsmen put on a bit of a show.

Ask yourself this: when was the last time an England opening pair put on 113 for the first wicket in less than fifteen overs? And no, fantasy scores on Brian Lara endorsed video games don’t count. I’d wager it’s never happened before. Bell certainly hasn’t made 187 in 145 balls for England before. Not even against Bangladesh. Well played Ian!

I think we can safely say that the decision to drop golden balls is paying off so far. England have often talked about playing aggressive cricket in the past, but team selection and our approach in the first few overs has betrayed our natural caution. This time I sense things are different. I think Morgan really believes in the strategy, and players have bought into this philosophy too.

My fear, of course, is that we’ll be too aggressive, fall flat on our faces, and then retreat into our shells for the rest of the series. I just hope the team accept the odd catastrophe is inevitable, and keep the faith when things go wrong.

Being more aggressive is definitely the way to go in the modern era, and I hope early setbacks don’t knock the stuffing out of us. That’s why the victory over the President’s XI was quite important. If all goes wrong against Australia at least the players know what’s possible if they stay true to their attacking game-plan. It won’t work every time, but when it does it will be fun to watch and should be very successful. England can definitely surprise teams on their day.

It will be interesting to see what side England put out against the Aussies. I imagine that Chris Jordan has bowled himself out of contention, but it remains to be seen whether England pick two spinners. My gut tells me they should not, but it all depends on the pitch and weather forecast I suppose.

Meanwhile, in other news, Colin Graves the new ECB chairman has set out his plans to revive the English game. I won’t bore you with all the details, as you’ve probably read them yourself, but if you’re late to this particular party here’s cricinfo’s summary.

In other, other news, Kevin Pietersen got up at 7.30am, had cornflakes for breakfast, brushed his teeth for a few seconds longer than he normally does, had a cup of coffee, and then went off to training.

No England players or ECB officials were offended or harmed in this time,

James Morgan

33 comments

  • Encouraging start for new-look ODI England. My only worry is how our bowlers were taken apart by Glenn Maxwell.

    • And the Mail now have an “Exclusive Interview” with the tattoist.

      No comment yet from Paul Newman whether it constituted a proper interview…..

  • Wouldn’t worry about Morgan not being British: he is toeing the ECB line like a good characterless Englishman with his “happy with this side containing all the best players” statements and not wanting KP after all stuff.

    Yeah, being invited to captain England by Downton and Moores leads to any personal principle going out of the window, old boy. As ECB English as you can get, then, old Eion

    • Unlike the bumbling, stumbling, burbling oaf preceding him I think Morgan is very much his own man. No talk of good dressing rooms, good warm ups, good areas, upskilling or any other bullshit. He does, however, have a touch of diplomacy. He’ll bloody well do for me!!

      • Quite agree, “IB” McG.
        I always get the feeling that Morgan has come into English cricket with his eyes open and has the measure of the people he has to deal with. He is diplomatic, but he’ll also let them know that he’s not to be walked over.

    • Thought Morgan dealt with the KP questions well, he said he gets on really well with KP and is very good friends with him, looked all in good spirit to me, he showed some personality too which is nice to see, listening to Cook used to make me want to wither up and die.

  • And whatever the results the quisling media is ready to claim victory whatever the outcome. If England do badly, we will be told it is all our fault for forcing out Cook. If on the other hand England do well, the media will claim credit for getting rid of KP.

    They have not an ounce of decency and integrity between them. It’s what two faced courtiers do. It’s got so bad that Newman is attacking Ponting for not doing a proper interview with KP the other night. This is rich coming from someone who has never asked anyone at the ECB a proper question ,and spend his entire time reprinting ECB leaked talking points. The idea he would have a clue what a proper interview consists of is laughable. Can’t the Mail get someone else to copy and paste ECB hand outs? An intern could do it for a fraction of his salary.

  • Don’t like it; Don’t like it one little bit. Not your piece James but the Cricinfo about Darth Vader, Colin Graves. Unless he sweeps out all the rotten eggs that caused the problems for England Cricket then nothing is going to change. Just another 6 months of chit chat until the Clarke stuff goes to sleep and onwards and upwards exactly the same as before? My fear of course. Don’t expect anyone else to agree and that’s fine. If he does more for the youngsters that would be a good thing and needful. Not getting rid of the dross will see another five years of hell. Not impressed, but hope I am proved wrong.

    • Let’s see what Graves does. I don’t particularly like the deal with Clarke, but politics are rarely clean. Sometimes maybe you have to dance with the devil to get anywhere. I’ll reserve judgement for now. Fingers crossed!!!!

      • James, I read your comment some hours ago and had to refrain from replying immediately. Now, later, I am ,frankly, still incensed by it.

        As a brief summary the ECB fail to analyse the Ashes debacle a year ago, blame and sack one player, promote the coach, rebuild their first new era around a failure of a captain, re-employ a failed coach, label the fans as outsiders, rewrite the constitution to produce jobs for the boys, still exclude the fans and you want to “wait and see” What would it take to actually turn your back on them and walk away?

        This is appeasement of the highest order. I can believe it of you but I will not be posting here again because I don’t need the stress – a real harbinger for change would not merely describe what is going on – he/she would want CHANGE and to change it – you don’t get change by waiting and seeing. Absolutely mind boggling!!

  • President’s XI?? Please don’t give Tony Abbott any ideas – he has enough bad one’s of his own all ready.

    • Agreed. Everybody, please be aware that Australia is still not a Republic. We have a Prime Minister and a Governor-General, not a President.

      Oh, and can we trade Prime Ministers? Yours can’t possibly be as bad as ours.

  • My fear, of course, is that we’ll be too aggressive, fall flat on our faces, and then retreat into our shells for the rest of the series. I just hope the team accept the odd catastrophe is inevitable, and keep the faith when things go wrong.””

    Look like this will get an early test.

  • Well at this stage the it is looking like another thumping. 103 for 2 after 20 overs with only another 132 needed.

  • Stat of the day (in case we imagine collapses like today’s are some kind of aberration):
    “England have only batted out their 50 overs six times in the past 21 matches.”

    I’ll pass over the bowling figures for Broad and Finn, which were also not hugely encouraging.

  • Sacking Cook has resulted in some English supporters and media becoming quite optimistic about how the team will fare in the world cup. Whilst the performances of Woakes and Morgan were encouraging, this game was a timely reminder that our problems are bigger than just 1 man

    • Quite agree. Too many seem to believe getting rid of Cook and his ways and replacing him with the more in your face (who wouldn’t be?) Morgan would be some kind of silver bullet.

      It was never going to be. It’s still a rubbish bunch of players.

      • Cook was the elephant in the room but that never meant there weren’t also a rhino (the rest of the batting), a hippo (the bowling), a wildebeest (the fielding) and a water buffalo (the coaches) as well!

      • That was always the case re Cook. I’m sure it was realised but few were prepared to mention it. Moggy apart it was a rubbish batting performance today. One of the catastrophes that James was suggesting. I don’t believe it to be a rubbish team. Most of them are young and they have good potential. I’m keeping the faith.

    • Funny that because another set of people believed getting rid of KP would solve all our problems. He was apparently singly responsible for the Ashes debacle. Loyalty to the cause was all that was required for success.

      It would be nice if a few of those people acknowledge it’s more complicated than their simple solutions as well.

      If KP had walked out at number 4 today and smashed 150 in 130 balls would anybody give a flying fig about loyalty and team bonding?

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