Morgan: New Zealand provide huge test

Skipper Eoin Morgan says England will need to produce a complete performance if they are to beat New Zealand and secure a place in the ICC World Twenty20 final.

The Black Caps are the only unbeaten side left in the competition after four consecutive Group 2 wins, following a stunning triumph over hosts India with victories over Australia, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

But England beat New Zealand in a warm-up match ahead of the tournament, by six wickets in Mumbai, and Morgan believes they will need to replicate that kind of display in Delhi tomorrow.

“We’ve got a tough game against a really strong New Zealand side, who have played probably the best cricket of the group stages,” said Morgan.

“So we’re going to have to come up with a very strong game of cricket to beat them.

“In my experience of getting to the knockout stage in any tournament you have done the hard work and it is almost now that you have earned a licence to go out and express yourself as much as you can.

“To me that attitude means getting the best out of yourself. If you have guys coming out who are very relaxed about performing on the big stage I think that takes a lot of weight off your shoulders.

“May the best side win.”

Morgan has revealed that New Zealand acted as the inspiration behind England’s recent limited-overs renaissance.

A group-stage exit at last year’s 50-over World Cup, where New Zealand finished runners-up to Australia following an array of exciting performances, triggered a change in approach that has reaped its rewards ever since.

The Black Caps felt the full force of the remarkable transformation in England last year, suffering a 3-2 defeat in a series where the hosts posted a record one-day international score of 408 for nine.

“Can I believe how far we’ve come? Absolutely not,” said Morgan.

“I’ve been asked the question after every series that we’ve played, and I can’t quite believe how far we’ve come overall in our white-ball cricket.

“I think that New Zealand series was very important. We’d talked about emulating what Australia and New Zealand did at that World Cup.

“From where we were to where they were…we were miles away.

“In order to bridge the gap we had to try and emulate the fashion in which they played and the aggressive nature in which they went about their game.

“So they did play a key part, absolutely.”

Morgan is the only member from England’s 2010 World T20-winning side in the current squad, although former skipper Paul Collingwood is part of the coaching staff, and he sees plenty of similarities.

England also lost to West Indies in their first game in the Caribbean six years ago.

“I see a few actually,” Morgan said.

“The main one would be how relaxed everybody is around the group. How much they are enjoying the challenge of playing international cricket at the moment and their hunger to win.

“It is all right having fun and enjoying what you are doing but if you don’t have that inner drive to want to improve and win games of cricket you are going to stand still for a long time. This side has shown strengths which are similar [to 2010].”

Source: ECB

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