Morgan keeps pace cards close to his chest ahead of Pakistan clash

Eoin Morgan
Eoin Morgan

England captain Eoin Morgan played a straight bat when asked about the chances of bolstering his pace attack for the side’s second World Cup match against Pakistan at Trent Bridge on Monday.

The way Pakistan’s batsmen were undone by a barrage of bouncers from the West Indies in their opening defeat has led to suggestions England could recall fast bowler Mark Wood.

But given World Cup hosts and favourites England started their campaign with a 104-run thrashing of South Africa at the Oval on Thursday, they may decide to stick with a winning formula rather, than bring Wood in alongside fellow 90 mph plus paceman Jofra Archer.

“I think there’s a good case for playing any of our bowlers,” Morgan told reporters at Trent Bridge on Sunday. “We’ll have to adapt to anything the wicket throws up.

“If there is anything to exploit, hopefully we’ll select the right team.”

But Morgan was well aware of the attraction of an Archer-Wood partnership.

“It is exciting. It’s like saying can you add a Jason Roy 180 to a Jos Buttler 150 off 70 or 80 balls — it might happen and if it does that would be awesome.”

England have twice set world records for the highest score in a one-day international at Nottinghamshire’s headquarters — posting 444 for three against Pakistan in 2016 before closing in on the 500 barrier with 481 for six against world champions Australia last year.

“To get something near that you need to play unbelievably well,” said Morgan. “It starts with the very basics with getting yourself into an innings and each batter starting and trying to establish a partnership.”

England’s final series before the World Cup saw them whitewash Pakistan 4-0. The 1992 Word Cup champions then suffered their 11th straight loss in a completed ODI against on Friday against the West Indies.

But having seen his England side beaten by eventual tournament winners Pakistan in the semi-finals of the 2017 Champions Trophy in Cardiff, Morgan was taking nothing for granted.

“We’re preparing for Pakistan at their best,” the Dubliner insisted.

“Only two years ago they were the best side in the Champions Trophy, they turned us over, they turned India over. We’ll be preparing as best we can for their A-game.”