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Dean Wilson: Time for Morgan to put his money where his mouth is

08 Jun | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Dean Wilson: Time for Morgan to put his money where his mouth is

Roughly three and a half months ago two international captains had dinner together, enjoyed a couple of beers talking about cricket and life and had a good old catch up.

A few days later their respective teams went toe-to-toe at the World Cup.

One side emerged victorious roared on by a partisan home crowd before going on to make the final, while the other suffered an embarrassing defeat and went on to stink the tournament out.

For a few hours in Wellington Eoin Morgan was on a par with Brendon McCullum as the two old Kolkata Knight Riders team-mates pondered the idea of lifting the World Cup for their country.

It didn’t take long for those expectations to take wildly different turns.

And even though their outlook on the game and their batting styles might be broadly similar, their international captaincy careers couldn’t be more divergent.

But on the eve of a five match Royal London one day series in England the two men could find themselves drawn closer as Morgan sets out to make his real mark as one day and T20 captain.

For all the talk of new eras and fresh starts and brave new worlds with young talent such as Sam Billings and Jason Roy, it is to Morgan where attention should be focused.

As captain he is the man who sets the tone, sets the example and directs the rest of the team’s efforts.

And just like McCullum he needs to make sure he is practising what he preaches.

New Zealand played a thrilling brand of one day cricket throughout the tournament and there was no more attacking a cricketer in their side than the captain. And he found form at just the right time.

That is the challenge facing Morgan and I expect him to meet it.

He has been given a huge vote of confidence from Andrew Strauss by being named as captain despite a woeful World Cup and a poor run of personal form with the bat.

But he remains one of England’s most destructive batsmen and now needs to show the true value of his globetrotting one day and T20 experience.

The suspicion that it is the money that lures cricketers to the Indian Premier League above all else has long been rubbished by Morgan who insists that it is the extra value of playing with and against the game’s superstars that makes the trip worthwhile.

Now is the time for him to back those sentiments up with action.

He will be the man explaining England’s bold new style of cricket and he will have to hold firm and keep backing some of the younger players even when they find international cricket tough.

But he will find it so much tougher if he is not producing the goods himself.

Morgan has played too many games, won too many matches and scored too many runs to go hiding this summer.

This is his team and with his old Kolkata Knight Riders coach Trevor Bayliss to work alongside him, eventually there is a ready-made partnership to move forward with.

So while the new boys might be the exciting, unknown, dynamic element of the latest one day squad, it is Morgan who is the key to bringing it all together and showing the way for his players to follow.

It is what Brendon McCullum does.

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