Eoin Morgan not pondering future as England captain until after T20 World Cup
Eoin Morgan refused to be drawn on how long he will remain as England captain beyond next year’s T20 World Cup in fear of any announcement acting as a mental stumbling block.
Morgan was hesitant about continuing to lead the limited-overs sides in the immediate aftermath of overseeing England’s historic 50-over World Cup win because of a long-standing back injury.
The Irishman retained his appetite, though, and, after taking time to contemplate his future once he had concluded his duties with Middlesex in the Vitality Blast, he has steeled himself for another attempt at global conquest.
But the thought of barely making it through to Australia in 12 months’ time means he will not commit to anything after that, including the 2021 T20 World Cup in India.
He said: “Coming back for Middlesex was a bit unnerving, not knowing how I’d feel going out to bat or back in the field.
“But certainly the drive was there and after the Blast finished I took a couple of weeks to think about things and the next year became clearer.
“I won’t say I’ll be finished after the next World Cup as I’d be afraid I’ll only creep over the line and maybe fall off.
“I don’t want to let anyone down. I want to drive through the World Cup in Australia and then make a call after that.”
Morgan defied his troublesome back during this year’s World Cup to amass 371 runs at an average of 41.22 in their triumphant campaign, the highlight of which was a blistering 148 from 71 balls against Afghanistan.
Asked whether there was a temptation to bow out after skippering England to a first-ever 50-over world title, Morgan replied: “At 33, given I could prove my fitness again, no.
“We have a special group of players at the moment. I feel very lucky to lead that group and I think we can do something even more special down the line.”
Preparations for the next tilt at a trophy begin in earnest on Friday with the first of five T20s against New Zealand in Christchurch.
Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler and Jason Roy are among those to be rested from the series following their summer exertions, with the uncapped quintet of opening batsman Tom Banton, leg-spinner Matt Parkinson, all-rounder Lewis Gregory and seamers Saqib Mahmood and Pat Brown drafted in, having excelled domestically this year.
Morgan said: “We’ll pick teams that we feel are good enough to win the games but also we need to look at these guys. There’s no use selecting them then not picking them in the XI.
“We’ll see that in the series. The majority of the guys will definitely get games and exposure to find more out about them.
“There aren’t a lot of places up for grabs in our best XI and probably our final 15, 12 months down the line, we’re not only building for 12 months down the line but the following World Cup as well.
“I think we’re in a reasonably strong position. We’ll look to build our best XI and 15 for every series leading in to fine-tune roles and have absolute clarity in what we’re trying to do as a team.”
Morgan, who branded the transition of head coach from Trevor Bayliss to Chris Silverwood as “seamless so far”, does not subscribe to the view that the Black Caps are a more menacing opponent after losing to England on boundary countback alone in the dramatic World Cup final in July.
Morgan added: “They’re always dangerous. Everyone thinks they’re under-rated but they are a very well established and well drilled side and that’s how we view it.”