London, July 13 (IANS) There might have been only two knockout games as per the format of the 2019 World Cup, but when it comes to England, they also had to win their last two group games against India and New Zealand to make it to the semifinals and skipper Eoin Morgan feels that holds the team in good stead going into the final against New Zealand on Sunday.
“I think it has helped us become more positive and aggressive and a bit smarter about how we play. It has sort of been the last-chance saloon since Durham, which has been nice in a way,” Morgan said on the eve of the final.
Asked about the emotions of playing in the final and that too at home, the skipper said: “I think — well, I certainly feel pretty relaxed. It is nice to be home. I’m also very excited about tomorrow. We’re going to enjoy the game. We’re going to try and take in as much as we can, it’s a World Cup Final, and we’re not going to shy away from that. As long as anything doesn’t affect performance, we’re going to try and take it in.
“It means a huge amount to me and everybody in the changing room. It’s the culmination of four years of hard work, dedication, a lot of planning and it presents a huge opportunity to go on and try and win the World Cup.
“The support we’ve had throughout has been unquestionable. It makes you feel extremely lucky to be part of a team that has that sort of support.”
While everyone has been talking about the talks in the dressing room when it comes to the big games in the showpiece event, Morgan said that a lot of it also depends on the mood in the camp.
“I always get asked this before games. You never know what you are going to say until the morning of the game. You have to go in and see what the mood is like in the camp. If it’s down, you need to pick it up. If it is too high, you need to bring it down. The majority of the times, over the last three or four games, it’s been right on point, I haven’t had a lot to do,” he said.
While the wicket looks on the greener side, Morgan begged to differ. “From afar, it looks greener than it is. There isn’t a lot of grass on the wicket. So it probably exaggerates how it will look. I think it will look different — if the sun comes out for a few hours, it will look different, it’ll go whiter and burn it off,” he said with a smile.
Asked about the cool guy in the team — Jofra Archer — Morgan said: “Yeah, Jofra’s a pretty relaxed guy, very cool. Probably not the coolest in the changing room. Chris Woakes has that mantra. But yeah he is a very relaxed guy. He enjoys relaxing and playing a lot of Xbox. He’s a young guy. He is enjoying his cricket.”
Morgan also praised the way New Zealand have managed to defend scores below 300 with ease even though there were talks going into the tournament that it will be a high scoring event.
“I think in general the scores have been a lot lower throughout the tournament than they have previously been here in the last three or four years. Adjusting to that has been harder work than it normally is.
“New Zealand have done it brilliantly and Lord’s isn’t a high-scoring ground, so I’d say tomorrow isn’t going to be a high-scoring ground so it will be a bit of a battle,” he said.