The Impact Of Eoin Morgan Cannot Be Overstated
Morgan is perhaps the best international captain in the present era. He is a veteran and experienced player who is strategically astute and well-liked by many of his teammates at England, Middlesex, and Kolkata Knight Riders.
But, on the pitch, how does Eoin Morgan lead England?
Communication Is The Key To Success
Morgan started chatting as soon as he stepped onto the field and didn’t stop until the game was over. He stood with the bowlers near the stumps before each of the six Powerplay overs and discussed the over’s strategy.
He prefers to ask his bowlers questions at these times, offering them alternatives for where to bowl and fields to set. Of course, much of this is agreed before the game, but the talk at the outset of each over ensures Morgan and the bowler are on the same page.
A Good Man For Any Type Of Situation
When you compare Morgan on the field to India’s hyperactive skipper Virat Kohli, you’d think the England captain had a stone heart. Morgan is the calmest of captains, and his players admire him for it.
His composure at the 2019 World Cup final at Lord’s has become legendary. This T20I was no different, albeit England’s bowlers were not put under any pressure. Morgan might have skipped from the comfort of his armchair.
He appeared to be at ease. He saunters between overs, his black shades obscuring his face, and he never rushes. That’s a conscious attempt to slow things down, as he learned from Carlos Brathwaite’s attack in the 2016 T20 World Cup final when he wished he’d taken a break during his onslaught.
Make a plan and revise it as needed
Morgan will never have a more strategically difficult game than this. The Sri Lankan batsmen didn’t put much pressure on him. Despite this, the skipper adapted his strategy to the circumstances, dismissing his four first-choice fast bowlers in the first 16 overs.
He does not lead his staff in the frantic manner of a Mumbai police officer directing traffic. His directions were calm and unambiguous, and the fielders responded quickly. They knew exactly what he wanted and when he wanted it.
Aggressive On The Field, Aggressive In The Game
Morgan generally plays the way he wants his team to play: aggressively and energetically. A good illustration of this was when the ball bounced down to fine leg off the batsman’s pads and Jonny Bairstow chased it down behind the stumps. Morgan dashed from midwicket to the stumps, received the throw, and knocked the bails off before checking on the Sri Lankan batter.
Morgan always throws the ball in full pelt when he throws it in from the field, which he didn’t have to do once in the Sri Lankan innings today. This makes it difficult for the player to back up at the bowler’s end. He practically skips in at pace to narrow down the angles when trying to rescue the single in the ring, as he did for the first six overs of this innings.
To the very end, Ruthless
Despite England’s dominant position, Morgan showed no signs of slowing down in this encounter. Morgan spent a good minute talking through Rashid’s field with him when he brought him on with four overs remaining and the game already won.
Morgan hugged each member of the team as they waited for the final LBW decision to be reviewed after yet another series triumph. He shook the hands of every member of the support crew, including the team’s masseur and security guard, when he returned to the locker room.