England captain Eoin Morgan is eyeing a back-to-basics approach as the Three Lions look to recover from their series defeat against South Africa ahead of the World Twenty20.
Morgan and his team were blown away by an AB de Villiers batting onslaught that was only 29-deliveries long, but which provided 71 runs towards an emphatic nine-wicket win for South Africa in the second Twenty20 international.
De Villiers’ innings in Johannesburg, South Africa’s fastest half-century in this format, was part of a 125-run opening stand with Hashim Amla (69 not out off 38 balls), and the chase of 172 was achieved in just 14.4 overs.
England’s own batting had suffered earlier in the day – this after Morgan and Jos Buttler had helped take the score to 157 for three by the 17th over – losing seven wickets for 14 runs in 21 deliveries to be dismissed for 171 in 19.4 overs.
“It’s very disappointing,” Morgan told ecb.co.uk. “The majority of our batting was pretty good. We set thigns up for what probably should have been a 180, 190 total. But after about the 14th, 15th over we fell by the wayside.
“We had a little bit of bad luck along the way. But certainly even with the bad luck we should have posted 185. Losing six or seven wickets in the space of three or four overs is unacceptable.
“We just need to be better at our basics it’s as simple as that. Today it was quite brutal the performance South Africa put in.
“If we want to beat a side like that we’re going to have to start by nailing our basics.”
England’s attack-minded approach with the bat had been motoring along nicely after an early wobble – Jason Roy gone in the third over – as first Joe Root made 34, then Morgan added 38, followed by a superb 54 from Buttler.
England’s “bad luck” came when Morgan was run out at the non-striker’s end, bowler Kyle Abbott getting a finger tip to a Ben Stokes straight drive, before the Durham man was himself out caught-and-bowl to Chris Morris, as the ball somehow looped off the toe of his bat.
“We could have kicked on,” Morgan said. “Ultimately, the plan to target the short boundary was right.
“I think the execution in that was poor. And when you’re playing on a really good surface, it’s very difficult to claw it back against somebody like AB de Villiers.
“I think we let him play well to start with, and once he got on top of us he just dominated.”
England will, of course, play South Africa at the World Twenty20 in India next month, and Morgan is confident his side will not be left scarred by the manner of the defeat.
As a long tour of South Africa came to an end, Morgan said: “Everybody’s still looing forward to the world cup.
“We’re disappointed that we’ve had two losses in this series. We have played some good cricket along he way. Certainly the inexperience we have in our changing room probably showed today more than any othr day.
“(But) I think with that inexperience, we do get that raw talent and some great performances along the way.
“And the performances we can put in on any given day we can beat any side. That does give us confidence.”