The most recent one day series of England vs Netherlands was a tail of two slightly different contests. Day one was an absolute onslaught from the England batter’s with them setting the highest ever one-day international score of 498-4; beating their previous highest score of 481-6 against the Aussies at Trent Bridge in 2018. Three English batsman made centuries in their innings – Buttler, Salt and Malan; and Liam Livingstone batting at six, hit the fastest half-century in England’s history which was off just 17 balls! Incredible! Day two was a much more even contest with the Netherlands holding their own for periods of time, and despite a bit of a wobble from England’s batsman as the ball started to spin, we played positively and got over the line comfortably in the end. Guttingly though our Captain Morgan failed to trouble the scorers, notching up a first ball duck and then a seven-ball duck in the second day. His form has been a concern for a while now as it’s been over 350 days since his last half century!
It was a brutal assault by England’s middle order on day one and the aggressive manner in which they went about dismantling the Dutch bowling attack was a feast for both sets of fan’s; although granted it must have been hard to watch on a personal note for Morgan but as Skipper also hugely satisfying. All England supporters know that Morgan is class as a batter and a leader with his calm temperament and undoubted ability with the bat; he’s been at the forefront of the transformation of England’s white ball game.
As a batter I know how gut wrenching it is not contributing to your team score for long periods of time and you start to question yourself; Is it really worth putting yourself through this? You train hard, doing everything properly and feel good in the nets but when you get out there in to the middle it feels like a different game completely – the ball looks as small as a marble and that piece of wood in your hands feels like it weighs 10 stone. It’s even harder to stomach when everyone around you is going out there and scoring runs for fun and are making it look so easy! So, what’s next?
Is it just a case of hitting that one big knock for Morgan for the shackles to come off and for him to find that free hitting form we use to remember him for? Or does a man with his experience knows deep down now that his time is up and should he do the honourable thing and step aside and hand over the reigns as Skipper and go and rest up his injuries? I’m sure he’d be offered a coaching role within the England Set-up if that were to be the case. His wealth of knowledge as a player and Captain is too great to not have around and have immediate access to for the young guns that are coming up. I just hope his One Day career with England doesn’t get tarnished and forgotten about for everything he has done. What do you think?