England v Australia, 1st ODI, Rose Bowl June 22, 2010

'I played my percentages and took it on' - Morgan

40

After the innings of his life to date, Eoin Morgan faced the press with the same thousand-yard stare and monotone voice that Bob Willis produced at Headingley after his own demolition of the Aussies back in 1981. It was hardly surprising, to be fair. After gracing the Rose Bowl with a performance of Technicolor rarely witnessed in England's one-day history, he wasn't interested in furnishing his effort with any more superlatives than he'd already produced.

"I'm just doing what I practise really," he deadpanned. "It was a belting wicket. I played my percentages and took it on. It's tough playing against Australia, especially with the attack they have. They've got some good bowlers, so it was nice. I've got no trick shots on the snooker table. And I'm rubbish at golf." At 10.30pm after a sapping evening's work, that was pretty much that.

Morgan will know, however, that in a year that culminates in both an Ashes and a World Cup campaign, that was quite some manifesto to slap on the table. When he last took part in a home one-day series, in the autumnal mists last September, he was a rookie finding his feet against a vengeful Aussie outfit, who were on their way to a 6-1 thumping.

Now, nine months down the line, he's cemented a role as England's finest finisher for a generation, having played an integral role in a one-day series win in South Africa, and a maiden ICC global triumph in the Caribbean. And, as a packed and jubilant Rose Bowl crowd rose to acclaim his first hundred on home soil, it really was a case of seeing is believing for the English cricket's fanbase.

"The great thing about Morgy is he is a finisher, but he does it in an aggressive manner as well, and that puts opposition captains under pressure," said Andrew Strauss. "He's doing it consistently as well, and it was an outstanding innings today - one of the very best I've seen in an England shirt."

Coming from a man who's seen Kevin Pietersen in full flow on numerous occasions in the past five years, that was quite some statement, but Strauss was loathe to suggest that a new sheriff had ridden into KP's town. "I don't think we need to compare the two," he said. "It's not like a 'wow!' competition. He plays some outrageous shots but the great thing is he can score around the wicket against all sorts of bowling, so as an opposition captain, you scratch your head and think how can we tie him down. It's proving difficult at the moment."

Morgan's intervention was audacious and emphatic. At the nadir of England's innings, they had slumped to 97 for 4 after 20 overs, a scenario almost identical to Australia's early wobble at 98 for 4 after 21.2. But, on his watch, England somehow rushed to victory with an impertinent four overs to spare. The actual margin of victory - four wickets - was more realistic as to the tussle that had taken place. But Morgan's magic ensured the final stages were a rout.

"I thought tonight was a pretty even contest, for the majority of the game it was right in the balance," said Ricky Ponting. "It was a decent game of cricket and we've got some work to do to make sure we are a bit better prepared next game. We were a long way below our best tonight and we still remained pretty competitive. If there are any positives for us at all, that's probably it out of the game."

Inevitably, Ponting played down any suggestion that England have raised their one-day game to levels never before seen in his career - ("Maybe they are getting a few more results now, but that doesn't necessarily mean there's been a change in attitude ..."), while Strauss maintained the admirable calm that has been England's stock reaction to their recent efforts by pointing out that this was just one match out of five. But in the same week that Sachin Tendulkar suggested that Australia are as vulnerable as they've been for 20 years, the collective confidence of England's cricket was almost as striking as Morgan's individual effort.

"It's the first game, but we've done a lot of things right," said Strauss. "The bowlers did a good job to restrict Australia to 267 and at the halfway mark I think we felt we were in front. But Australia being Australia they'll come back at us hard in the next game, so let's not pat ourselves on the back too much in this game. Ultimately it's a very satisfying victory."

The more Morgan's game develops, the more the comparisons with a certain MG Bevan will start to flood in, and Strauss didn't pretend he hadn't noticed the similarities between two left-handed icemen with an uncanny knack for producing a crucial boundary in some undefendable corner of the field.

"We've been looking for a Michael Bevan-type character for quite a long time, and Morgs has shown a few times in both 50-over and 20-over cricket that he can play in a similar fashion, and perhaps a bit more aggressively than Bevan. We can't rely on one person, we need to get contributions from 1 to 9 in the batting order, which is why it was good that Luke Wright came in and did a good job at No. 6 and Tim Bresnan at No. 7."

But ultimately, the first ODI was all about one man, and Ponting is already plotting to stop him. "He did everything right tonight, there's no doubt about that. He didn't offer us a chance, did he? He hit the ball very, very well.

"The difference in those situations is how much pressure you can build up and how much you can put on them to hit a boundary. We didn't do that tonight. He got his boundaries too easily, which allowed them to stay in front in the game. We have to make it harder for good players like him to find the boundary in those middle overs.

"Against the slower guys he is unorthodox. You saw that tonight when [Nathan] Hauritz first came on. The way he reverse-sweeps makes it difficult to set fields for. But the way our quicks and our medium-pacers bowled to him tonight, we just gave him too many easy boundary options. There's not too many guys in international cricket if you bowl them a half-volley they won't put it away.

"He hit a lot of cover-drives for four. We have to address that, and address it pretty quickly for the next game."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SnowSnake on June 24, 2010, 17:05 GMT

    To all those bragging about Hussey's average. In limited overs, averages do not provide a lot of meaning. You can boost your average by staying not out in ODI or playing fewer ODIs (Yuvi has played over 100 more ODIs than Hussey). The probability of remaining not out for non-opening batsman is higher due to 50 over limit. Hussey has only 2 ODI centuries (Yuvi has 12) and has about an average strike rate for someone who would usually bat in second half. The strike rates of two are comparable with Yuvi keeping this strike rate by playing over 100 more ODIs than Hussey. Powerplays etc. also make comparing averages irrelevant. Hussey is definately a good player, but he is not nearly as dangerous as Yuvi. Yuvi is may be immature due to the fact that he started playing ODIs in his early twenties, compared to Hussey who started playing in ODIs in late twenties. In fact, the current age of Yuvi is close to the time when Hussey started playing ODIs. I just don't see your point.

  • SettingSun on June 24, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    @SnowSnake - Yuvraj averages 37 in ODIs, Hussey averages 52. Therefore you are wrong. VERY wrong. You Yuvraj fanboys really do look ridiculous sometimes.

  • ashy16in_ on June 24, 2010, 2:40 GMT

    I do not think it is right to compare Morgan with Bevan. I was never a big fan of Bevan. He used to up the ante too late in the innings due to which Australia were always 10-20 runs short but they made up with their world class bowling attack. Morgan is more talented and aggressive and would make a great finisher irrespective of whether England bats or bowls first.

  • SnowSnake on June 23, 2010, 21:35 GMT

    @Paul Rone-Clarke. I thought I was agreeing with you that Yuvraj is a better quality ODI player than Hussey. Hussey is a wonderful test cricket player. Hussey is not a great ODI player. Even Australia did not consider Hussey for ODI games until he was in his late twenties. Yuvraj is a very dangerous player. If Yuvraj is in an ODI team then the opposition must get him out to increase their winning chances. Hussey is no where as dangerous. He is a good player, no doubt. However, he is not in the same league as Yuvraj. In test cricket, I would put Hussey at a higher level than Yuvraj.

  • upsrockstar on June 23, 2010, 19:32 GMT

    congrats to england,they played superb cricket right throught the match.I would definitely pray they give the aussies the same drubbing as they received last year.Eoin Morgan was terrific.England have unearthed another hero in him.It would be pretty early to compare him with the likes of Bevan & Hussey but yes he is an exciting prospect.For Australia Clarke played well but the rest failed,Ponting looks a pale shadow of himself.The quality of cricket played in the overall match was excellent & it will definitely help in the revival of ODI cricket.

  • on June 23, 2010, 16:09 GMT

    @ SnowSnake:i too agree it is horrible to compare yuvraj with bevan and hussey whose average's were well above 50 and won so many matches single handly for aus .i think you don't know much about cricket.

  • 2.14istherunrate on June 23, 2010, 15:43 GMT

    Wonder why anyone is questioning ODI's after that. it was a proper game with ebbs and flows. If you just want sixes go and watch a net practice. Cricket is not just about thrills;it has to have a plot/drama as well. Morgan is the x factor player England have needed for years. Add in a good legspinner and a genuine quick(92+ mph) and england would would be hot.

  • on June 23, 2010, 15:15 GMT

    @ Snowsnake your comment ref Yuvraj (a player I repect a lot BTW) "His accomplishments six-sixes in an over and 2001 Nat West etc. are much more significant. " Why? Don't want to sound facile - but why? It's certainly not obvious to me.

  • SnowSnake on June 23, 2010, 14:27 GMT

    I have to agree, Yuvraj should not be put along side Bevan & Hussey. Yuvraj is much more talented that both of these two. He single can win a match single handedly. His accomplishments six-sixes in an over and 2001 Nat West etc. are much more significant.

  • Vivek.Bhandari on June 23, 2010, 13:16 GMT

    think England has got Bevan-like player in Fairbrother long back...but like Bevan, he was sorted out in the Test matches, bouncers and all...i believe playing him in Test matches was a mistake

  • SnowSnake on June 24, 2010, 17:05 GMT

    To all those bragging about Hussey's average. In limited overs, averages do not provide a lot of meaning. You can boost your average by staying not out in ODI or playing fewer ODIs (Yuvi has played over 100 more ODIs than Hussey). The probability of remaining not out for non-opening batsman is higher due to 50 over limit. Hussey has only 2 ODI centuries (Yuvi has 12) and has about an average strike rate for someone who would usually bat in second half. The strike rates of two are comparable with Yuvi keeping this strike rate by playing over 100 more ODIs than Hussey. Powerplays etc. also make comparing averages irrelevant. Hussey is definately a good player, but he is not nearly as dangerous as Yuvi. Yuvi is may be immature due to the fact that he started playing ODIs in his early twenties, compared to Hussey who started playing in ODIs in late twenties. In fact, the current age of Yuvi is close to the time when Hussey started playing ODIs. I just don't see your point.

  • SettingSun on June 24, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    @SnowSnake - Yuvraj averages 37 in ODIs, Hussey averages 52. Therefore you are wrong. VERY wrong. You Yuvraj fanboys really do look ridiculous sometimes.

  • ashy16in_ on June 24, 2010, 2:40 GMT

    I do not think it is right to compare Morgan with Bevan. I was never a big fan of Bevan. He used to up the ante too late in the innings due to which Australia were always 10-20 runs short but they made up with their world class bowling attack. Morgan is more talented and aggressive and would make a great finisher irrespective of whether England bats or bowls first.

  • SnowSnake on June 23, 2010, 21:35 GMT

    @Paul Rone-Clarke. I thought I was agreeing with you that Yuvraj is a better quality ODI player than Hussey. Hussey is a wonderful test cricket player. Hussey is not a great ODI player. Even Australia did not consider Hussey for ODI games until he was in his late twenties. Yuvraj is a very dangerous player. If Yuvraj is in an ODI team then the opposition must get him out to increase their winning chances. Hussey is no where as dangerous. He is a good player, no doubt. However, he is not in the same league as Yuvraj. In test cricket, I would put Hussey at a higher level than Yuvraj.

  • upsrockstar on June 23, 2010, 19:32 GMT

    congrats to england,they played superb cricket right throught the match.I would definitely pray they give the aussies the same drubbing as they received last year.Eoin Morgan was terrific.England have unearthed another hero in him.It would be pretty early to compare him with the likes of Bevan & Hussey but yes he is an exciting prospect.For Australia Clarke played well but the rest failed,Ponting looks a pale shadow of himself.The quality of cricket played in the overall match was excellent & it will definitely help in the revival of ODI cricket.

  • on June 23, 2010, 16:09 GMT

    @ SnowSnake:i too agree it is horrible to compare yuvraj with bevan and hussey whose average's were well above 50 and won so many matches single handly for aus .i think you don't know much about cricket.

  • 2.14istherunrate on June 23, 2010, 15:43 GMT

    Wonder why anyone is questioning ODI's after that. it was a proper game with ebbs and flows. If you just want sixes go and watch a net practice. Cricket is not just about thrills;it has to have a plot/drama as well. Morgan is the x factor player England have needed for years. Add in a good legspinner and a genuine quick(92+ mph) and england would would be hot.

  • on June 23, 2010, 15:15 GMT

    @ Snowsnake your comment ref Yuvraj (a player I repect a lot BTW) "His accomplishments six-sixes in an over and 2001 Nat West etc. are much more significant. " Why? Don't want to sound facile - but why? It's certainly not obvious to me.

  • SnowSnake on June 23, 2010, 14:27 GMT

    I have to agree, Yuvraj should not be put along side Bevan & Hussey. Yuvraj is much more talented that both of these two. He single can win a match single handedly. His accomplishments six-sixes in an over and 2001 Nat West etc. are much more significant.

  • Vivek.Bhandari on June 23, 2010, 13:16 GMT

    think England has got Bevan-like player in Fairbrother long back...but like Bevan, he was sorted out in the Test matches, bouncers and all...i believe playing him in Test matches was a mistake

  • bobmartin on June 23, 2010, 12:19 GMT

    A superb game of cricket... but, one swallow does not a summer make.... We are 1-0 up in the series with 4 to play.. End of. Morgan is in a terrific run of form. He will fail, they all do. Nobody ever has such a disappointment as those who count chickens before they're hatched. And lastly, beware of a wounded beast.

  • TrevorHickman on June 23, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    Hang on, I thought this going to be Bollinger's series?

  • sherishahmir on June 23, 2010, 11:34 GMT

    A real rejunevated english side lead by strauss & perfectly backed by KP, Kieswter Cooling wood and big big E morgan. Great performance by young morgan since England last tourof proteas land. With the players like Morgan in the middle, KP also can play his natural stinct of destruction and english side which depleted in past can touch the hights of new glory.

    Morgan is the real talent for England the way he bats, indicates he would be a grt asset to England in time to come. Hope he would perform the same way in test arena as well.

  • CricketPissek on June 23, 2010, 11:04 GMT

    lol @soumyas... Yuvraj in the same class as Hussey and Bevan? You having a laugh mate. Morgan looks very talented, let's see how he progresses

  • murray2010 on June 23, 2010, 10:48 GMT

    whilst I loved seeing England win...I'm just wondering why there are less sixes scored in a 50 over match than in a 20 over match?

  • Chapelau on June 23, 2010, 10:27 GMT

    More boring comments about nationality senrohit! Time to wake up and smell the coffee - we live in a modern, multi-cultural society with freedom of movement and worker mobility. Pity few other countries are like England in these respects - making it a more attractive place to live and work. England never looked like losing - I was there last night - great game - both sides were competitive. Looking forward to a great series.

  • diri on June 23, 2010, 10:13 GMT

    Morgan is a good player , but i still think the best finisher was lance klusner. What that man brought to the world was the start off big hitting , real big hitting in the last 8overs off a match. others have tried since then but no one can match his consistency to deliver when his team was under pressure....thank you Lance for the memories , the 1999 world cup was the best worldcup that i have seen due to Lance klusners hitting

  • Bigbanger666 on June 23, 2010, 10:07 GMT

    A win to the world 11.....LOL

  • on June 23, 2010, 9:46 GMT

    Maybe its me, but I always see the English press all hyperbolic about a rising star initially,a few bad performances and they put him to dumps.

  • Something_Witty on June 23, 2010, 9:40 GMT

    And the next game is at Cardiff. Ughh I hope they've done something about that absolute road of a pitch, otherwise it's going to be 450 plays 450. Well played England, close games are always good, but comparing Morgan to Bevan/Hussey is very premature. I don't think he'll ever be in the same class as those two. And @Settingsun, we don't really go in for making excuses after we lose, we don't need to justify our loss, because we know we weren't at our best and we're willing to accept that. - Unlike some.

  • on June 23, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    If people can't get their head around the modern world and the fluidity of nationality then that's their problem. If a sportsman can prove a reasonable case that progress in his profession is being hampered on grounds of race, then he can rightly take the ECB (or any other national body for whom he might be entitled to play) to court for restraint of trade/restrictive practice and possibly throw in a tacit racism charge as well. Even the ICC ruling that applies to Ed Joyce and others who have already played for one country - could be challenged in court - and if his council played the case well then Joyce would probably win - overturning any sports bodies internal ruling about re-qualification times. We have international rulings named after players all the time. Joyce might join Kolpak and Bosman with a law of his own. The ICC would hate it, but they don't legislate - or even have a say - AT ALL in international labour laws. This is not my "opinion", this is international law.

  • jackiethepen on June 23, 2010, 9:00 GMT

    Morgan playing magnificently. But it needed that to separate the two teams. I'm still unconvinced by Wright at 6. Having a supporting role is fine when Morgan is on song. But what about the times - in a similar situation - when Morgan falls early? No. 6 has to be capable of a powerful innings, capable of a ton or a healthy number of runs like a Hussey, capable of leading partnerships with the lower order. I don't think Wright can do this. He can either support - good for him - or whack in the final overs. He is a natural No 7. Australia have six batsmen, every one of them capable of taking responsibility for winning the game. That is why they have stayed on top for so long. Their current bowlers are not so hot. But Australia will come back stronger once key bowlers have recovered from injury. As for Yardy being marked to come in at 6, that was ridiculous and once Flower was faced with the situation of 97-4, Yardy was 8. Nothing like reality to sort out the order.

  • SettingSun on June 23, 2010, 8:43 GMT

    Predicted Aussie excuses / responses - 1) "They're not even English so it doesn't count!" 2) "Don't worry, it will be 4-1 now." 3) "We're still better because we won some series a while back and that counts more than what's happening in the present." 4) "Not English! No fair!" 5) "Pietersen didn't walk!" 6) "He's not English either!"

  • WhisperingDeath16 on June 23, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    After the last week Ponting must be thinking of getting some Irish batsmen to declare for Australia....

  • CSK-FAN on June 23, 2010, 8:06 GMT

    @Ariz Khan. Thats nothing to do with cricket!Sports is all about skill not nations! else none would watch games!

  • on June 23, 2010, 7:56 GMT

    Eoin Morgan has surprised many, and his improvement as a batsman is a joy to watch. The best part of his short international career has been his consistency. He averages above 40 in all forms of the game. I hope he lives up to the promise for a long time to come and not wane away like the Graeme Hicks of the world

  • Lava_Ind on June 23, 2010, 7:55 GMT

    A reality check for Australia. Wake up. you are not the invincibles, change your attitude towards the game. With the way England performed today a 5-0 drubbing is a possibility.

  • on June 23, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    Michael Bevan , Lance Kluesner , Michael Hussey , Misbah ul haq , Now We have a EOIN MORGAN ! good to see these sort of mentally strong players who can take the match to the wire with such calmness ! amazing !

  • senrohit on June 23, 2010, 7:23 GMT

    Well done Morgan.. He is definitely one for the future.. And may be someday an English team with Genuine English players will be able Australia. And honestly Morgan, if he had continued playing for Ireland would have done world of good for Irish cricket

  • on June 23, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    Eoin Morgan & England are on the right track. Hope the Englishman win the series 4-1.

  • rustin on June 23, 2010, 6:42 GMT

    I think half the reason for Australia being so invulnerable is that teams believe they are . The other half is of course that they themselves believe it. This promises to be a good tournament if England finally show an attacking mindset.

  • whippersnapper on June 23, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    All this Foreign Legion needs now is Van Damme to join and it'll be just like Wrong Bet!

  • on June 23, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    Post match ponting says "It was a decent game of cricket and we've got some work to do to make sure we are a bit better prepared next game" and this is what he had to say on Paul Collingwood comments of aggression on first match. "I would expect that they would come out aggressive in every match that they play. I can't see why they would want to come out aggressive in one match and not another game"

    So, Ponting was not fully prepared for the first match and will make it better for next?

  • on June 23, 2010, 4:55 GMT

    A brilliant game and whatever one may say, a full strength England squad had to fight till the very end against a relatively, new inexperienced Australian bowling attack at least.But Morgan was the difference between the two sides. The Australian bowling though is weak in the miiddle without Brett Lee bowling the yorkers he did the last time around. Till the last seven overs or so , it could have been anyone's game. But I think the media should be a little cautious before branding Morgan as the next Michael Bevan. He is a good, calm player who is not afraid to improvise and should only improve. It looks like we could have closer games and the only way Australia can win is by making more runs and that means Ponting et al have to make runs and make them at a better rate. Ryan Harris is a good, honest trier and should do even better in the season ahead. Good game and may the series be as tight. Sridhar

  • soumyas on June 23, 2010, 4:33 GMT

    he has same caliber as Yuvraj sing, Michael Hussey, Michael bevan. finally England found some solid players to beat australia, nice to see that.

  • on June 23, 2010, 2:57 GMT

    Shame he's not english eh.....oh well most of the side isn't anyway......

  • on June 23, 2010, 2:27 GMT

    With Eoin Morgan in top form and sufficiently providing the finisher's role and the England middle and lower order fulfilling their role adequately, I do not see nay reason why England cannot develop into a formidable side that can compete the best.

    With regards to Ponting's claims underestimating England as usual before a competitive series, all I can say is that this man has come to near end and should depart quietly.

  • landl47 on June 23, 2010, 1:02 GMT

    I can only assume Ricky Ponting is trying to reassure his team when he says there hasn't been a change in the England team's attitude. This is a team that has started to feel it can win every game. It's not just that Morgan is becoming a very good player, it's that there are others like Wright (two wickets and 36 runs) and Bresnan to make sure the team doesn't fall apart at the first sign of adversity. Yardy, coming in at #8, has a first-class batting average of nearly 39 with 14 centuries. Kieswetter kept wicket immaculately and looks the part as an opening bat. Australia gave it 100% as they always do, but England looks a better all-round squad. In this game the veterans (Strauss, Pietersen, Collingwood, Anderson, Swann) didn't do all that much and England still won handily. There was a time not too long ago when that wouldn't have happened.

  • SnowSnake on June 23, 2010, 0:40 GMT

    Congratulations, England. Great overall performance. I was afraid that England may repeat Ireland's performance and lose, but good Morgan saved the day. As far as Australia is concerned, they have to think of Ponting's replacement. For last one year, he has given below average performance for someone who only bats. How many times he has fallen prey to the pull shot, but he is so stubborn that he is willing to play it and take a chance with his wicket. The only positive about Ponting is his fielding.

  • on June 22, 2010, 23:41 GMT

    It was a superb game between two rather evenly matched sides despite the lack of international experience for Australia in their bowling. This series should be close overall.

    Morgan indeed played a fantastic innings and deserves all the accolades, and although England at the end won at a moderate canter, Harris is certainly a bowler to watch in this series. This could be the series that, if England and Australia remain so evenly matched, could give ODI cricket some much-needed impetus after its recent criticism on where it stands in relation to both Test Matches and Twenty20 Matches.

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  • on June 22, 2010, 23:41 GMT

    It was a superb game between two rather evenly matched sides despite the lack of international experience for Australia in their bowling. This series should be close overall.

    Morgan indeed played a fantastic innings and deserves all the accolades, and although England at the end won at a moderate canter, Harris is certainly a bowler to watch in this series. This could be the series that, if England and Australia remain so evenly matched, could give ODI cricket some much-needed impetus after its recent criticism on where it stands in relation to both Test Matches and Twenty20 Matches.

  • SnowSnake on June 23, 2010, 0:40 GMT

    Congratulations, England. Great overall performance. I was afraid that England may repeat Ireland's performance and lose, but good Morgan saved the day. As far as Australia is concerned, they have to think of Ponting's replacement. For last one year, he has given below average performance for someone who only bats. How many times he has fallen prey to the pull shot, but he is so stubborn that he is willing to play it and take a chance with his wicket. The only positive about Ponting is his fielding.

  • landl47 on June 23, 2010, 1:02 GMT

    I can only assume Ricky Ponting is trying to reassure his team when he says there hasn't been a change in the England team's attitude. This is a team that has started to feel it can win every game. It's not just that Morgan is becoming a very good player, it's that there are others like Wright (two wickets and 36 runs) and Bresnan to make sure the team doesn't fall apart at the first sign of adversity. Yardy, coming in at #8, has a first-class batting average of nearly 39 with 14 centuries. Kieswetter kept wicket immaculately and looks the part as an opening bat. Australia gave it 100% as they always do, but England looks a better all-round squad. In this game the veterans (Strauss, Pietersen, Collingwood, Anderson, Swann) didn't do all that much and England still won handily. There was a time not too long ago when that wouldn't have happened.

  • on June 23, 2010, 2:27 GMT

    With Eoin Morgan in top form and sufficiently providing the finisher's role and the England middle and lower order fulfilling their role adequately, I do not see nay reason why England cannot develop into a formidable side that can compete the best.

    With regards to Ponting's claims underestimating England as usual before a competitive series, all I can say is that this man has come to near end and should depart quietly.

  • on June 23, 2010, 2:57 GMT

    Shame he's not english eh.....oh well most of the side isn't anyway......

  • soumyas on June 23, 2010, 4:33 GMT

    he has same caliber as Yuvraj sing, Michael Hussey, Michael bevan. finally England found some solid players to beat australia, nice to see that.

  • on June 23, 2010, 4:55 GMT

    A brilliant game and whatever one may say, a full strength England squad had to fight till the very end against a relatively, new inexperienced Australian bowling attack at least.But Morgan was the difference between the two sides. The Australian bowling though is weak in the miiddle without Brett Lee bowling the yorkers he did the last time around. Till the last seven overs or so , it could have been anyone's game. But I think the media should be a little cautious before branding Morgan as the next Michael Bevan. He is a good, calm player who is not afraid to improvise and should only improve. It looks like we could have closer games and the only way Australia can win is by making more runs and that means Ponting et al have to make runs and make them at a better rate. Ryan Harris is a good, honest trier and should do even better in the season ahead. Good game and may the series be as tight. Sridhar

  • on June 23, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    Post match ponting says "It was a decent game of cricket and we've got some work to do to make sure we are a bit better prepared next game" and this is what he had to say on Paul Collingwood comments of aggression on first match. "I would expect that they would come out aggressive in every match that they play. I can't see why they would want to come out aggressive in one match and not another game"

    So, Ponting was not fully prepared for the first match and will make it better for next?

  • whippersnapper on June 23, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    All this Foreign Legion needs now is Van Damme to join and it'll be just like Wrong Bet!

  • rustin on June 23, 2010, 6:42 GMT

    I think half the reason for Australia being so invulnerable is that teams believe they are . The other half is of course that they themselves believe it. This promises to be a good tournament if England finally show an attacking mindset.