Vastavam web: England captain Eoin Morgan knows New Zealand have the ability to defend small totals and says the hosts will need to replicate their near-perfect game against Australia to prevail in Sunday’s Cricket World Cup final. Morgan’s men dished out a ruthless performance against arch-rivals Australia, bowling out the five-times champions for 223 and romping home with nearly 18 overs to spare in a lop-sided semi-final at Edgbaston.
Asked if they would need to maintain a similar standard against the 2015 finalists, Morgan said: “I think we will need to, yeah. “We are striving to improve on our performance. No doubt they (also) will.” New Zealand are one of the two sides, along with Afghanistan, who have not posted a 300-plus total in the tournament, but successfully defended a modest 239 against India in the first semi-final.
“Throughout the tournament the scores have been a lot lower than they have previously here in the last three or four years. Us adjusting to that has been harder work than it normally is,” Morgan said. “New Zealand have done it brilliantly and Lord’s isn’t ever a high-scoring ground. I’d say tomorrow isn’t going to be a high-scoring ground, so it will be a bit of a battle.”
With Sunday’s match available on free-to-air television in England, Morgan acknowledged the importance of winning England’s maiden men’s 50-overs World Cup title though his focus remains on the final only.
“Cricket and sport in particular is very fickle. If you ever get ahead, it always seems to bite you in the backside. “So for us to win it, I think around the country it would be awesome, great for the game. “I think quite iconic in certainly young kids’ memories if they are watching it at home and we manage to lift the trophy, it would be awesome.”
Morgan paid tribute to Brendon McCullum, saying the former New Zealand captain had made a deep impact on his leadership style. Morgan credited the former wicketkeeper-batsman for New Zealand’s distinct brand of cricket.