Eoin Morgan urges England players to keep pushing boundaries

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Eoin Morgan's England will continue pushing their boundaries, on captain's orders, in the Twenty20 series set to start against Pakistan.

The tourists recovered from an opening one-day international defeat to clinch that series 3-1 - thanks largely to Jos Buttler's brilliant 46-ball hundred at the Dubai International Stadium last week.

They return to the same venue on Thursday for the first of three Twenty20s, in which the skipper is calling for more of the same.

Morgan sees no reason to modify the bold approach which has served England well for the past six months - since they first committed to all-out limited-overs attack on home soil against New Zealand and Australia.

The new adventure began in 50-over cricket - but even after just four Twenty20 internationals since England's failed campaign in the last global tournament 20 months ago, Morgan is confident white-ball skills are interchangeable.

He hopes the forthcoming three matches in five days, to end this tour of the United Arab Emirates, can help to ready his team for the next ICC World Twenty20 in India in March.

"Our strategy is quite simple - to continue testing ourselves, our ability, regardless of any situation we play.

"We are trying to test our boundaries and capabilities as players.

"We don't know what our boundaries are at the moment, so it's important to keep pushing them as far as we can."

England have ripped up the template which got them nowhere in the 50-over World Cup in Australia and New Zealand last winter, and have fast-tracked a new breed of players.

"I think our progress since the start of the summer has been outstanding," Morgan said.

"We continue to push our boundaries, and the opposition, at every stage of the game.

"We've never taken a negative step, a backward step, since we've come together as a squad.

"As long as that continues, and we're really honest with ourselves and learn along the way, it will hold us in good stead for the Twenty20 World Cup."

Buttler's century followed maiden ODI hundreds for openers Alex Hales and Jason Roy on this trip, and Morgan anticipates much more to come.

"I'm really excited. I think we have a lot more to offer.

"We're going to come up against similar challenges (to the ODIs) but are obviously going to have to be a lot more aggressive."

Large crowds, unlike for the three-match Test series here, are expected as the ex-pat Pakistani community shows its love for white-ball cricket.

Morgan added: "I think it will be brilliant preparation (for India).

"It's no good playing in front of nobody here, and you go to a World Cup in front of 40,000.

"That's a key aspect for new guys who come in, and for senior players to lead the way.

"Leading up to the World Cup at the start of the year, we had exceptional preparation - and it didn't really come to fruition.

"We are lucky our squad doesn't change a great deal from one-day to Twenty20, and that's been aided by the fact we've changed the brand we play in ODIs, so it also is very relevant in Twenty20."

He is challenging Buttler to achieve more consistency after his record-breaking hundred, and is convinced the partnership of Roy and Hales is on an upward curve.

"Consistency is key, particularly in international cricket and doing it in different conditions," he said.

"Jos has done it away from home now, and that will give him a huge amount of confidence.

"It's not unrealistic to see another innings similar to the one in the last ODI - because I certainly wasn't surprised, watching it.

"I hope he can continue his outstanding performances, and improve on his consistency."

It will fall to England's openers not just to hit the ball long and hard, when they can, but work out the percentages for their team-mates.

Morgan added: "Twenty overs is longer than you think, and it helps that we have Alex at the top of the order - with his experience - to help Jason gauge exactly what is a good five or six-over total in the powerplay.

"Breeding confidence off each other, and bouncing off each other, is quite key - and will help our top three grow.

"But I don't think it's hell-for-leather stuff.

"If every player is empowered with taking on decisions and responsibility - which they feel is right - they'll be backed up by the changing room, because they're in the best position to do it."


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