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Resilience within squad should help us overcome New Zealand: Morgan

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Abu Dhabi, Nov 10 (IANS) England captain Eoin Morgan said on Wednesday that it would be a “hell of an achievement” for his injury-hit side to beat New Zealand in the ICC T20 World Cup semifinal here later on Wednesday.

Morgan is bidding to lead his side to their third successive ICC final, but will have to do without opener Jason Roy after he pulled his calf against South Africa, adding to an injury list that already includes Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, Tymal Mills and Sam Curran.

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Morgan captained England to glory against the Black Caps on home soil in the final of the 50-over World Cup in 2019 and also got the better of New Zealand in the semifinal of the ICC T20 World Cup 2016, before losing to the West Indies in the final.

Asked what it would mean to make the final without his injured stars, Morgan told icc-cricket.com, “That’s a good question. I think it would be a really strong representation of what the 50-over side have achieved since 2015. I think we had a glimpse of that during our summer when we had to replace 15 players against Pakistan (due to Covid-19 cases in the first England team) and they ended up beating Pakistan’s strongest ODI team 3-0.

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“I think that was a good instance of an English cricketer. But I think if we could achieve something like that it would be quite close. You might only get to the final and lose, but getting to the final would be a hell of an achievement.”

England lost their undefeated record here in their final encounter against South Africa but more importantly opening batter Jason Roy was ruled out of the tournament, with Morgan suggesting his experience at the top of the order is irreplaceable.

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“I think like losing any of your experienced players, you can’t really replace that experience that Jason has. He’s played integral parts in our two previous World Cup campaigns, very similarly to other guys that have been injured or have missed the tournament through injury.

“Other guys have found something else within themselves to either try and fill that gap or contribute in a different way to the team. If you look right from the very beginning of our selection process leading into the World Cup, we’ve got a number of big name players missing from our squad and that’s continued both pre-tournament with Sam Curran and into the tournament with Jason Roy and Tymal Mills,” said Morgan.

“I think (out) of all the things we’ve done well throughout this tournament, probably the strongest point has been the resilience within our squad to be able to find a way to move forward and forge on.”

–IANS

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