Eoin Morgan has defended his team’s approach after their 66-run defeat in the first ODI against India at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune on Tuesday. The England captain has opined that the margin of defeat was better than losing by 10-15 runs.
Chasing 318 for a win, England made a blistering start, racing to 135 for no loss in the 15th over, when their first wicket fell. Indian bowlers then made a fine comeback as they bowled out the visitors for 251 inside 43 overs.
Eoin Morgan couldn’t get going and was dismissed for a 30-ball 22 when he top-edged one while trying to pull Shardul Thakur. Nevertheless, in the post-match presentation, the England captain had no qualms about his team's approach, saying:
“Did a lot of things right today. The wicket was brilliant as well, which made for an entertaining game. There was something for the seamers, but if you got in, you could score heavily too. Our bad days with the bat make it look worse than usual. Need to execute better than we did today. When you look at our top seven, in particular, we’ve all scored under 60-ball hundreds.
Eoin Morgan continued in this regard:
“That’s the way we want to play. With one eye on the World Cup, we want to try and push the envelope in that regard. Sometimes it doesn’t work. But for us, it’s better to lose like that than losing by 10-20 runs. That’s the way we’ll continue playing. Fitness levels have moved the game forward, bats have moved the game forward.”
Eoin Morgan heaps praise on his bowlers
Eoin Morgan believes his bowlers did a good job restricting India to a manageable total but lamented the fact that his team couldn’t capitalise on their advantage of winning the toss.
“Important for us to dictate the way we play and reinforce the method that’s worked for us. Our bowlers did an outstanding job with traditional Test lengths and lines that proved effective. Didn’t probably play well enough to take advantage of the dew. This is disappointing because the toss is an advantage here in India,” the World Cup-winning captain added.
India were helped to 317 courtesy efforts from Shikhar Dhawan (98), Virat Kohli (56), Krunal Pandya (58*) and KL Rahul (62*). Rahul and Pandya produced an unbeaten partnership of 112 runs in less than ten overs.