Afghanistan hold no surprises – Morgan

England know what to expect from Afghanistan, insists captain Eoin Morgan.

The two teams have met only twice before, most recently in England’s comfortable win at last year’s 50-over World Cup, ahead of tomorrow’s World Twenty20 clash at the Feroz Shah Kolta in Delhi.

Afghanistan have lost their first two Super 10 fixtures, to Sri Lanka and South Africa, having come through the qualifiers two weeks ago.

England, in contrast, will be seeking to build on Friday’s thrilling defeat of the Proteas, which kept them in contention for the semi-finals.

Morgan started his international career with Ireland, an Associate side like Afghanistan. Having sprung surprises with Ireland, notably at the 2007 World Cup, he is refusing to underestimate the Afghans.

“They’re a dangerous side and play a really exciting brand of cricket,” he said.

“Ten years ago we might not have known much about them, but now that is the nature of modern sport. We know a lot about them now and that is quite comforting, the fact that there’s no stone that’s left unturned.

Eoin Morgan, who is refusing to underestimate Afghanistan tomorrow, walks across the Feroz Shah Kolta in Delhi today

“We watched the early stages of the tournament and they played some really good cricket and we watched the games against Sri Lanka and South Africa in different circumstances.

“Winning one of these games will be their ultimate objective.

“If you keep missing, it’s fine, but the opportunity along the way will come. If you have your day, you might win a game. That’s certainly was the attitude when I was a part of Ireland.”

Not only must England beat Afghanistan, they need to boost their net run-rate to aid their last-four hopes.

With a tricky last group game against holders Sri Lanka to come on Saturday, also in Delhi, tomorrow’s match would seem England’s best chance of doing this.

However Morgan says his side need to be focused on victory.

“Our priority is on winning, this is a big game and we are certainly not taking Afghanistan for granted,” he said.

“First and foremost we need to go into that game with the right mindset. Focusing on anything else at the moment, given that there are two group games left, would be a little bit naive – actually stupid.”

Source: ECB

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