Eoin Morgan said he was looking to target the seamers in conditions where he felt hitting the slower bowlers would be difficult © Getty Images
As he leaves for India to captain England in three ODIs and three T20Is, Eoin Morgan could hardly have signed off his five-match spell with the Sydney Thunder in sweeter style. By smoking a straight six off Ben Hilfenhaus, he provided the Thunder with their first win of the defence of their maiden title.
Given Morgan missed England’s tour to Bangladesh due to security concerns, the BBL was his first cricket since the English summer and he feels it has set him up well for the tour of India, especially since the pitch at the Spotless Stadium for his final game was slow and low, favouring spin.
“I feel in pretty good touch,” Morgan said. “We played on a slow wicket tonight which prepares you well for subcontinental conditions. It hasn’t been too flat, so my preparation has been really good out here.”
Morgan, having been 15 off 28, ended unbeaten on 71 off 50, his second half-century of a tournament in which he scored 159 runs at 39.75 to sign off as his team’s top-scorer. He explained that, as he bided his time building his innings, he was waiting to attack the Stars’ seamers.
“Predominantly I was looking at the seamers. I thought [Adam] Zampa bowled really well. After watching Fawad Ahmed bowl, I thought pace off would be difficult. That was in the back of our minds. Zampa did pick up a wicket but it we were grateful it was towards the back end of his spell.
“It’s an extraordinary feeling when you get one out of the middle like that. It’s a bit like standing on the tee and smashing one straight down the middle. When you hit it, you’re the only person who knows how well you’ve hit it. A very special feeling.”
Morgan said he was sad to leave Sydney and reflected on his BBL experience as a whole.
“We’ve always known it was happening [leaving early],” he said. “I would have loved to have stayed for the whole tournament, coming over for such a short space of time you never know how much impact you’re going to have. It’s a credit to [Thunder General Manager] Nick Cummins and [Head Coach] Paddy Upton who brought me in and trusted me with their confidence, so it’s unfortunate to go, but England beckons.
“This is an unbelievable competition. I haven’t played for two years, and then played the three years before that. If I was to compare it to the first year I was here, it’s just completely different. It has grown three or four times. The fan base, the popularity, the public’s reaction to the tournament as a whole, it’s exceptional. There are people coming up who don’t necessarily watch cricket, and they’re engaging the whole time. That’s a huge strong point. I would love to come back.”
Will Macpherson writes on cricket for the Guardian, ESPNcricinfo and All Out Cricket. @willis_macp
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo