EOIN MORGAN believes England must improve on spinning pitches to stand a chance of retaining the World Cup when it is held in India.
The one-day captain (pictured), who celebrated his 34th birthday yesterday, expects slow bowlers to prosper in the three-match series with Australia which begins at Old Trafford today.
And while England’s rise to No.1 in the ICC rankings has been largely down to big totals and their pace bowlers, Morgan wants to broaden those horizons with India hosting the next World Cup in three years as well as the T20 version in autumn 2021.
‘It’s a huge benefit to us playing at Old Trafford, particularly if we play on the wicket I think we’re going to play on, which will hopefully be slow and take a lot of turn,’ he said. ‘That’s the sort of wicket we will more than likely play on in India in the World Cup of 2023. To play on that for a period of time will expose us in different areas we need to get better at.
‘Over the course of the last four-and-a-half years we have had to wait to play at Cardiff or Old Trafford or go on tour to experience those conditions.
‘Going away from what we’re strong at allows us to focus on our weaknesses, so it creates a new dynamic.’ Morgan thinks leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who shone in the T20 series win over Australia, will also be a key figure in the 50-over format.
‘He’s the No.1 variation bowler in the world at the moment,’ he said. ‘He has been in as fine form as I’ve seen him.’
Joe Root’s more occasional spin may also come in useful as he returns after being left out for the T20 series.
As for Root’s batting, Morgan said: ‘His dot-ball percentage is unbelievably low, his average is high, his strike-rate is high. That’s all you can ask.’