Eoin Morgan admitted that the depth his side possesses in the shortest format is enviable and insisted that there still might be room for players like Tymal Mills, who will play in The Hundred, to make their WT20 case. Morgan feels that many players have benefitted from franchise cricket experience.
England are currently the number one ranked T20I side in the world and there is little doubt that the Three Lions possess a wealth of talent that is unmatched. Nothing underpins this statement more than the fact that the Three Lions are atop the rankings despite alienating Alex Hales, who still is up there as one of the best T20 batters in the world.
With the World T20 four months away, England have already zeroed-in on a group of 20 players who are likely to feature in the global extravaganza, but skipper Eoin Morgan believes that there is still an avenue for players outside the shortlisted group to put their hands up.
Addressing the media post the Sri Lanka series, Morgan claimed that there are still players who could present a case for WT20 selection through The Hundred, and cited the example of Tymal Mills. The left-arm seamer last played for England three years ago.
"There are guys playing in the Hundred like Tymal Mills who could easily present a case,” Morgan said, reported Cricbuzz.
“He is an outstanding bowler, and we've always been in communication with him, wanting him to get fit, play as much cricket as possible, and leave him alone until the World Cup comes. Playing for Sussex, given the journey that he's been on, on a regular basis, is way better for him than trying to get fit for sporadic T20 series through the year. He's a good example along with a few other guys that could present a really strong case throughout the Hundred.”
In fact, prior to the Sri Lanka T20Is, both Chris Woakes and David Willey were not in England’s plans, but the duo put up impressive showings in the three-match series to make their own case. Morgan admitted that both all-rounders have presented ‘extremely strong cases’ for selection and insisted that both players grabbed their opportunity with both hands.
“They've presented extremely strong cases - everything we've asked of them, they've achieved. It's always difficult coming in when you've not been involved for a period of time - probably harder for Chris than Dave.
"Dave was involved [in the squad] last year, but there is a level of pressure that comes with coming into a very strong side. I think both have taken their opportunity. I think both offer different things, [Willey] the left-arm swing angle and I suppose both of them bowl with the new ball as well which is the only similarity that they have,” Morgan said of Woakes and Willey.
The England skipper also claimed that the competition for WT20 spots is way higher than what it was for the 2019 World Cup. This, according to him, is because of the exposure players in the country have gained by playing franchise cricket across the globe.
"Yeah, I would. And I think that's down to guys being able to play in competitions around the world and being in high demand,” Morgan said, when asked if the competition is fiercer now as compared to the 2019 WC.
"It really does help guys deal with any pressure or level of expectation, coming in to play in our side at the moment. Yes, we've had this for a number of years now but it's been playing in a different format, with guys that are bringing transferable skills from Chennai to England, Mumbai to England, Rajasthan to England. Same format, and they're comfortable playing it.”
Jos Buttler missed each of the last two T20Is against Sri Lanka due to injury, and Morgan hinted that the wicket-keeper batsman won’t be rushed back into the side for the ODIs. Morgan said that Buttler has “other priorities that he needs to be fit for.”
"Obviously we have a couple of niggles at the moment. Jos is out currently. Calves are sometimes difficult to come back with, it depends how they present themselves in the first week, so we'll be constantly monitoring that. Certainly at the moment, it's not a priority that Jos is 100% fit for the white-ball stuff that we're coming through, given the cricket he has coming up with Tests, T20 World Cup and a possible Ashes down the line, I think there are other priorities that he needs to be fit for.”
The three-match ODI series vs Sri Lanka will kick-off on Tuesday, June 29, at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street.