Cricket World Cup 2019: Eoin Morgan vows England will not underestimate Bangladesh
No panic after shock loss in Nottingham to Pakistan is the pledge of home nation's captain
Eoin Morgan says there is no way England will underestimate the threat of Bangladesh – particularly given he once worried his tenure as captain might have been ended by defeat against them.
Morgan has overseen a remarkable transformation of the England team since the 2015 World Cup.
He had been given the captaincy on the eve of that tournament in Australia and New Zealand, after Alastair Cook was dispensed with.
It was a woeful campaign that ended with them being knocked out by Bangladesh. The two sides will meet again in Cardiff on Friday, and each have significantly improved outlooks to what they did four years ago.
“I didn't really know, is the honest answer,” Morgan said, when asked if he feared he could lose the captaincy after that exit from the 2015 World Cup.
“Probably for the next month or so, I didn't know. It wasn't that game in particular. We weren't humiliated. We were beaten by a better team.
“They deserved to win that night. The humiliating games were games that happened previous to that. Games we might have been competitive and were blown away.”
England and Bangladesh have one win and one defeat apiece so far in this tournament, each of them having beaten South Africa.
“It is going to be a difficult game,” Morgan said. “They are a good side. I think people underestimate them. We certainly don't.
“They are a side that has played a lot of cricket. Their senior players, especially, have played a lot of games, even more so than our senior players. So they are a threat. But hopefully we can play well and overcome it.”
In each of England’s two previous games, the opposition opened the bowling with spin as a ploy to combat England’s free-spirited openers.
South Africa’s Imran Tahir took Jonny Bairstow’s wicket with the second ball of the tournament, while Pakistan’s Shadab Khan accounted for Jason Roy early in the second match.
Morgan is certain Bangladesh will employ a similar method, with off-spinner Mehidy Hasan experienced at using the new ball.
“It's just another challenge that the two guys have been presented with,” Morgan said.
“I'm sure that they will kick on. It's like anything, when the ball swings, it's a new challenge. Guys bowl short, it's a new challenge. Mystery spin, is a new challenge. Bangladesh will open with spin, definitely.”
Morgan played down the idea that his side had lacked focus in the defeat to Pakistan last time out.
“It's a game we lost,” Morgan said. “We didn't deserve to win the game. We didn't play well enough.
“We played some really good cricket. Two guys scored a hundred, and we nearly chased down 350.
“A couple of guys got fined [Jason Roy for an audible obscenity and Jorfra Archer for dissent]; that happens.
“It was a little bit emotionally driven, which is expected in a World Cup. You want to see that in guys. But I didn't see anything distracting us more so.”
Updated: June 7, 2019 06:13 PM