England have made stunning progress in limited overs cricket over the last year and the current World Twenty20 squad have much in common with the champion 2010 side, skipper Eoin Morgan said ahead of Wednesday’s semi-final against New Zealand.
Morgan was at the non-striker’s end when then skipper Paul Collingwood scored the winning run to seal England’s seven-wicket win against Australia in the Bridgetown final in the third edition of the tournament.
Six years since the triumph, Collingwood is now a consultant with the team and Morgan believes he leads a side far better than the bunch who crashed out of last year’s 50-overs World Cup after a defeat by Bangladesh.
“I can’t quite believe where we are with our one-day cricket and Twenty20 cricket,” Morgan told reporters at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.
“The guys that we’ve selected have done outstandingly well and shown a great amount of attitude in learning.”
The 29-year-old has no illusions about the challenge ahead as his team take on a New Zealand side who stormed into the last four as the only unbeaten team of this year’s tournament.
“We have a top game tomorrow against a strong New Zealand side who probably have played the best cricket of the tournament so far in the group stages. So we are going to have a very strong game tomorrow to beat New Zealand,” he said.
England have a better knowledge of the venue, having played their last two games at Kotla whereas New Zealand played their group matches in four different venues.
Morgan is also deriving confidence from the group’s similarities with the team Collingwood led in West Indies during their 2010 triumph.
“Quite a few actually. The main one would be how relaxed everybody is around the group,” the left-handed batsman said.
“It’s all about having fun and enjoying what you are doing. If you don’t have the drive to always want to improve, to win a game of cricket, you stand still for a long time, this side has showed strength which is similar to that 2010 (group).”
Morgan also drew his experience from the West Indies campaign and encouraged his team mates to play freely against New Zealand.
“Certainly my experience in games in the knockout stage of a tournament is that you’ve done the hard work and it’s almost now you earn a licence to go out and express yourself as much as you can.
“If you’ve guys coming out very relaxed about performing and performing on the big stage, I think that takes a lot of weight off the shoulders.”