World Cup pitches tougher to bat on second: England’s Morgan
LONDON (Reuters) – The pitches prepared for the Cricket World Cup do not last the full 100 overs and have not aided batsmen chasing a score in the second innings, England skipper Eoin Morgan said on Tuesday.
Many teams have found it difficult to chase big totals at the World Cup, with the pitch appearing to slow down and the ball not coming on to the bat as quickly as in first innings.
India’s unbeaten run at the tournament came to an end after England beat them by 31 runs on Sunday, despite having five wickets in hand, with Indian batsmen blaming the slowness of the pitch after they were unable to hit boundaries.
“I think every wicket that we have played on so far has been tougher to bat on in the second innings, regardless if we had won or not,” Morgan told reporters ahead of Wednesday’s match against New Zealand.
“Even the games I have watched on TV, it’s been tougher (in the) second innings… The wickets haven’t been as good as they have in the last four years.”
England’s final group game against New Zealand on Wednesday is a virtual quarter-final for the host nation, who must win to guarantee themselves a semi-final spot.
Pakistan, who face Bangladesh in their last group stage game on Friday, are one point behind England in the table.
“Two defeats (to Australia and Sri Lanka) does that,” Morgan added, referring to their precarious position ahead of the clash. “It was clear that after the Australia game, there was a huge amount of disappointment in the changing room.
“The fact that we’ve been able to turn that around, identify where we are at and what we need to do in order to progress to the semis, made things clear about how we want to continue to play, which haven’t changed… it’s been effective.”
The last time England faced New Zealand at the World Cup in 2015, they were bowled out for 123, a total the Kiwis chased in less than 13 overs. Morgan said that although that defeat was humiliating, it was also a learning experience.
“It was as close to rock bottom as I’ve been, certainly as a captain, as a player, being beaten off the park like that is humiliating,” Morgan said.
“New Zealand proved a point that you can be really good humans and grow the game and play cricket in your own way and win at the same time, which is incredibly eye-opening for a lot of countries around the world.
“I thought that rubbed off on everybody in the World Cup.”