Morgan urges England to kick on against Sri Lanka


Eoin Morgan has called on England to continue their limited-overs renaissance when they start a five-match one-day international series against Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge on Tuesday.

England claimed an ODI series victory over Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates last year before surrendering a 2-0 advantage to lose 3-2 in South Africa.

They then came agonisingly close to winning the ICC World Twenty20 in India two months ago, losing to West Indies in a dramatic final over having exceeded expectations by reaching the final. 

England return to the 50-over format when they take on a Sri Lanka side who they can leapfrop to go fifth in the rankings with at least a 4-1 victory on home soil.

The Test team eased to a 2-0 series victory over Angelo Mathews' side and limited-overs captain Morgan is determined to follow suit.

He said: "We're still at the beginning of building hopefully what will be a successful campaign in the 2019 World Cup [in England and Wales].

"We will play on home soil then and it's something we earmarked our preparation for. It was part and parcel of selecting a completely new squad this time last year and actually starting something to turn around our white-ball cricket.

"We've had some success since then which has been good for the side, particularly in the confidence the guys have shown. 

"Also, the little bit of success we've had away, beating Pakistan in the UAE and putting ourselves in a commanding position against South Africa, has been good for us.

"We had chances to win that series, notably in the third ODI, but what ultimately let us down was a little bit of inexperience.

"I think it's important for us not only to stick with the same group of players in order to grow their experience over a period of time but also trying to find some consistency in our performances is very important.

"If you look at where we sit in the ICC rankings we're actually below Sri Lanka and that's a reflection of our performances over the last number of years."

Sri Lanka trail 10-2 in the newly-introduced 'Super Series', with two points up for grabs for wins in the ODIs and the one-off T20 next month.

Mathews' men warmed up for the ODI series with two comfortable victories over Ireland in Dublin, but will have to do without Shaminda Eranga after also losing fellow paceman Dhammika Prasad and Dushmantha Chameera.

Eranga was suspended from bowling due to an illegal action on Sunday and it was later revealed that he had been admitted to hospital due to an irregular heartbeat, but was due to be discharged on Monday.

The in-form Jonny Bairstow could make his return to the England ODI side as a batsman with Ben Stokes still sidelined due to injury.