Eoin Morgan, the 2019 Men’s ODI World Cup winning captain, believes Thursday’s clash between defending champions England and 1996 winners Sri Lanka is more than just a game, as it’s a battle of redemption for both teams to resurrect their respective campaigns in the ongoing tournament.
England come into the clash at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday on the back of suffering losses to Afghanistan and South Africa, with their overall record at one win and three losses. Sri Lanka also have the same overall record, and with injury replacements coming in, need a big win to bring their campaign on track.
“The fixture on Thursday, where England square off against Sri Lanka in Bengaluru, is not just another game. It's a make-or-break moment. Thursday's clash in Bengaluru is not just a game. It's a battle for redemption, a chance for England to prove that they can bounce back from adversity and reaffirm their status as one of the cricketing giants,” wrote Morgan in his column for the ICC.
England's prospects of making the semi-finals are hanging by a thread and with their leading wicket-taker Reece Topley ruled out of the competition due to a broken finger, Morgan has urged head coach Matthew Mott and captain Jos Buttler to inspire the side to its dominating winning ways.
“The challenges for England extend beyond the cricket field. The magnitude of their defeats has undoubtedly taken a toll on the team's morale and confidence. In such trying times, the spotlight turns to the coach, Matthew Mott, who has only been in charge for 16 months, and the skipper, Jos Buttler.”
“Their primary task is to rejuvenate the team's belief that they can still clinch the World Cup despite the gloomy start. One must not forget that England, at their best, possess the firepower to conquer any challenge. But how quickly they can put their recent woes behind them and rediscover their mojo remains the big question,” he added.
Morgan has called upon England to rediscover the aggressive route which led them to 2019 World Cup title. “When they face Sri Lanka, who are a talented yet unpredictable side, they will need to find that balance between resilience and aggression that made them world champions just a few years ago.”
“Sri Lanka are a team that has had moments of brilliance and they will pose a substantial challenge. But it is England's internal battles, both in terms of team confidence and selection decisions, that will define their destiny in this World Cup.”