Morgan voices England T20 World Cup concerns ahead of Pakistan series

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LONDON, Aug 28, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – Eoin Morgan believes England must field
their strongest Twenty20 side as often as possible if they are to triumph at
next year’s T20 World Cup and replicate their 50-over global triumph.

The coronavirus pandemic has led England to name separate red-ball and
white-ball squads this season, with the likes of all-format stars such as
Test captain Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer missing from
a three-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan at Old Trafford starting
Friday.

They will also be without another member of the side that won the 50-over
World Cup last year, with opening batsman Jason Roy missing because of a side
injury.

If COVID-19 — which has already seen the T20 World Cup scheduled for
Australia this year held over until 2021 in India — continues to upset the
global cricket calendar, England may well persist with separate squads

And Morgan, while encouraged by the chance to give the likes of batsmen
Dawid Malan and Tom Banton a chance to stake a claim, he insists England must
field their first-choice team as often as they can if they are to enjoy more
success at a major world tournament.

“This is another opportunity for guys who would potentially sit outside
that 15 to try and present their best case moving forward for winter tours
and the World Cup next year,” white-ball captain Morgan told reporters on
Thursday.

But he added: “One of the challenges between now and the World Cup is going
to be getting our strongest team on the park as often as we can to define
(their) roles.

“We will only know our strongest positions after we have guys achieving in
those roles.

The Dublin-born batsman said he wanted to see the first-choice side in
action as often as possible.

“I don’t think we can have a scenario where we can play the majority of our
games with a half-strength team and then expect to go into a World Cup as
contenders when guys don’t know their roles or haven’t been familiarised with
them,” he said. – Haider debut –

Pakistan could give a Twenty20 debut to teenage batsman Haider Ali.

“He is an exciting talent and has been doing well in practice,” said the
tourists’ captain Babar Azam.

“We will definitely want to give him a chance as and when it comes.”

For Babar, Friday’s match means a quick change in formats after his
unbeaten fifty helped Pakistan to a draw in the third Test against England
earlier this week, although the travelling side lost the series 1-0.

“It’s really difficult to come from red-ball to white-ball,” said Babar,
one of the world’s leading batsmen.

“But T20 specific players have been practising so the aim is to win the
series.

“We are positive about the series and will not take England lightly. They
have good white-ball players.”