Eoin Morgan has good news for the fringe players in England limited-overs squad who impressed in the Caribbean: They will “certainly be talked about in selection meetings” ahead of the World Cup 2019.
England once again dominated West Indies, the reigning World T20 champions, bundling them out for 72 in St Kitts to seal a 3-0 sweep. This, after dismantling the home side for 45 in the second T20I.
After the shock of the Test series – England were outplayed in a 2-1 loss – and a disappointing 2-2 draw in the ODIs, the T20Is provided a much-needed boost of confidence for the visitors as they ended the tour on a high.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) March 8, 2019
Morgan was elated. “That’s as close as we could have got to a perfect performance,” he told Test Match Special. “Throughout this T20 series, we have played extremely well. What we have seen over the last two games is individuals standing up and producing match-winning performances.
“The guys who did perform here certainly will be talked about in selection meetings. The guys played close to perfect. There is an opportunity to look at other guys outside of our mainstay players. I probably see our bowling line-up changing more than our batting.
“We’re close to knowing the 15-man squad – we’ve played a lot of cricket and have built a reasonably strong formula. Come the World Cup, we will pick the guys who are in form and have been performing over a number of years.”
And there were quite a few standout players too, particularly among the bowlers where Chris Jordan and David Willey both ended as highest wicket-takers in the T20Is with six apiece. For Willey, a lot of those wickets came in a career-best 4-7 in the third T20I.
“David Willey really did stand out with that early spell. We felt he was our best option to swing the new ball, and he’s very deceptive with his slower balls. Sam Billings and Joe Denly have had opportunities and Chris Jordan came in specifically for this series – it creates a healthy, competitive environment,” added Morgan.
Willey, for one, will be relieved. He had voiced his doubts about all the clamour to include Jofra Archer, the Barbados-born all-rounder who will be eligible to represent England later this month.
Willey had hoped England would stick with the players who have got them this far, but Archer’s performances in T20 leagues the world over have caused a storm, with coach Trevor Bayliss open to the possibility, and former captain Nasser Hussain calling for his inclusion.
“They are the kind of days you dream about in Twenty20 cricket,” he said after his performance. “Very often, it’s a batter’s game, so to be a bowler and get some wickets, then to win in the fashion we did is brilliant.
“Touring is difficult when you’re not playing, and when you do get your opportunity, there is a bit more pressure on for you to step up and contribute. I always feel I play my best cricket when I’m playing regularly, so it can present a challenge to hit your straps when you’re not playing regularly. To come out and play as I have gives me a lot of confidence.”
England next take on Ireland in a one-off ODI in May before a limited-overs series against Pakistan.