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Monday 11 December 2017

Morgan leaps to defence of team tactics

England captain Eoin Morgan defended England's selection and tactics as they crashed out of the World Cup following a 15-run defeat to Bangladesh.

England's disastrous campaign has seen them lose all four of their games against Test-playing nations with a win over Scotland scant consolation and a dead rubber against Afghanistan to come.

It has long been levelled at England that an old-fashioned brand of cricket is holding them back in limited-over games but Morgan insisted the humiliating exit was down to performances and not approach.

"We've picked guys who can play a brand of cricket that if we performed we could win this World Cup but ultimately we haven't performed," he told Sky Sports.

"It's pretty poor, obviously to be knocked out of a World Cup this early is unbelievably disappointing.

"I'm gutted at the moment. We've struggled and fought away since we arrived here.

"One of our big things was to fight quite hard and to try and get through to the quarter-finals and then from there fight our way through the last three games but obviously that's not meant to be."

He added: "It ultimately comes down to performance and today was an example of where some of our guys performed but we didn't perform as a unit and we've done it for quite a while now.

"Since we've landed in Australia we've tried to address that problem but it hasn't worked.

"Our expectations are a lot higher than the way we've performed so that's extremely disappointing. There'll be an inquest over the next few weeks as to what happened and what went wrong and then we'll go from there."

Speculation will now mount over the future of England coach Peter Moores and he cut a predictably dejected figure following the defeat.

"You just feel hollow if I'm being honest," he said. "Very, very disappointed. "We haven't played well enough, we've got to accept that.

"You just feel like you've let people down, that would be the main emotion."

Morgan replaced Alastair Cook as captain shortly before England left for their warm-ups Down Under with the relatively untested Gary Ballance drafted in at number three and Moores admitted the lack of a settled XI was a hindrance.

KEY PLAYERS

"We haven't got a settled team," he said. "We've lost two key players at the top of our order (Cook and) Jonathan Trott was the number three, we've lost some players and we accept that, we don't make an excuse of it.

"We tried to find what we think are the best players to get into that team. Gary is a very good one-day player, we felt that was the right decision. He didn't play well enough, Alex (Hales) got his go today.

"There was no obvious team to pick because they're young players, they haven't played a lot of cricket. We've got nine guys who haven't been to a World Cup before. That's the reality of it.

"You make your choice, you pick the side you think is the best team, which we did, and we have to accept they didn't play well enough."

Explaining the replacement of Cook with Morgan, who has made five ducks in his last nine innings, Moores added: "We went for more explosive batters. We thought we needed more firepower in the order.

"We also know historically that the most experienced sides do very well in World Cups so we were taking a risk."

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