England left-handed batsman Eoin Morgan is gearing up to captain his country on Tuesday when his T20 team take on Sri Lanka at the Oval and has admitted exclusively to GiveMeSport they face a huge challenge, taking on the World T20 champions.
The Middlesex limited overs skipper takes the honour in the absence of permanent T20 captain Stuart Broad who is still recovering from his tendinitis in his right knee. The fixture sees Peter Moores take control of his side on home soil for the first time since his re-appointment as England head coach and there couldn’t be a tougher test.
The opposition lifted the T20 World Cup earlier this year, defeating India in the final. However, England was the only side who beat them in the tournament, largely thanks to an Alex Hales century so both teams will have confidence going into the 6pm start.
It is a one-off game so the winner takes all before a five-match One Day International series starts at the same venue on Thursday. The hosts will have a 13-man squad to choose from and only Hales and Moeen Ali are not included in the ODI squad so there is a sense of consistency in selection with Harry Gurney the only uncapped player in the T20 group.
In an exclusive interview with GiveMeSport in the build-up to the international summer Morgan has revealed his thoughts after captaining Middlesex in back-to-back games at Lord’s at the weekend.
“It’s coming to that time of the year where things start to get really busy. We went up to Scotland and that was a success because we got a result up there but obviously the proper start to the summer is this week against Sri Lanka,” Morgan told GiveMeSport.
“They are world champions in T20 cricket so Tuesday is going to be a huge task but again the last time we played them was in the World Cup and we got the better of them.
“We will be looking to go out there and do what we do best compared to looking into what they do well and hopefully we can get our summer of to a good start.”
There has been talk of a recall for Ian Bell who last played the shortest format of the game for his country back in 2011 and Morgan came out in support of the Warwickshire man last week, claiming he could be the Mahela Jayawardene of England. He could open the batting with Hales but it will not be announced until the toss takes place. Morgan says you cannot argue with the amount of talent on show.
“It is a largely similar squad and the guys are hugely talented but obviously there has been a big change in the backroom staff so that will take some time to adapt in terms of learning about each other. The essence and the core of the squad have stayed the same because this has been a successful group over the years.”
Five ODIs and two Test Matches against Sri Lanka are then followed by 11 matches against India across the three forms of the game and Morgan is in the hunt for a place in the Test team. The inventive batsman says momentum is absolutely key with a busy schedule.
“There is a lot of travelling between now and the end of the year and a lot of cricket to be played.
“Hopefully there will be a lot of runs to be scored as well so it is a busy time of year but at the same time it is really exciting because if you do well and get on a roll as a side you can have a couple of wins under your belt before you know it and maybe a series.”