India v England, 2nd Twenty20, Mumbai December 22, 2012

Buttler hails 'world class' Morgan

ESPNcricinfo staff

Jos Buttler described Eoin Morgan as "world class" after the pair had combined to help England to a six-wicket win over India in the second T20 international and square the series at 1-1. With England needing three runs for victory, Morgan, England's stand-in captain, hit the last ball of the match for six to end unbeaten on 49 and complete his team's highest successful run chase in the format.

Buttler also played his part, hitting two crucial boundaries during the penultimate over, bowled by Parvinder Awana. He and Morgan added 32 runs from 13 balls to make sure England got over the line after an opening stand of 80 between Alex Hales and Michael Lumb had set them on their way, only for Yuvraj Singh to again menace the tourists during the middle overs.

"We're really pleased to get that victory. It was a world-class finish from a world-class finisher in Eoin Morgan," Buttler said.

"He was very confident and that rubbed off on me. It's a great Christmas present. It was a world-class performance from everyone and everyone's delighted to get a win."

After winning the toss, Morgan was vindicated in his decision to bowl first, despite a mixed display from England's attack. Only Tim Bresnan and James Tredwell showed the requisite control on a fast surface and a sixth-wicket partnership of 60 from 27 balls between MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina threatened to take the game out of England's reach.

"It was a hell of a game of cricket," Morgan said. "It was a great pitch to be prepared for a Twenty20 game and both sides were in the game throughout the whole 40 overs, which was great to see."

"The stats suggest, particularly at this stadium, that chasing predominantly wins, so it was part and parcel of what we looked at and we backed ourselves to chase down or even set a good score."

While India dropped two catches and leaked runs with a poor display in the field, England worked hard to back up their bowlers and Morgan praised the fielding by his young side. "It was outstanding," he said. "It's an area that we've looked at where we can be ahead of the game and save 10 or 15 runs each time, and today we were amazing."

Dhoni, who joint top-scored for India with 38, and Yuvraj both suggested that the dew had been a factor for the side bowling second. But while Dhoni was pleased with the way his side fought throughout the match, he admitted India had made their task harder by allowing England's openers to quickly get on top of the run chase.

"What was vital was the start. I don't think we started really well, we were a fraction short," Dhoni said. "As in the last game, we came back nicely, the bowlers started doing well again, but it was difficult. We gave up too many runs in the first six overs."

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  • Dummy4 on December 25, 2012, 3:02 GMT

    @jmcilhinney Thanks and let me say - I support every Irish player who elects for England to play tests. It is the pinnacle of the game and while that is not available for us, I do not begrudge any player (be it Rankin, Morgan or shortly the barely 20/21 Dockrell and Stirling - both fantastic talents as County teams have found out this year) electing to play for England. I seek tests for Ireland as we have proved ourselves over the last 10 years in all forms of the game to be the best associate - a developer of talent and our upset ability in world cups seems now to be a given. I long for the day that William Porterfield leads out Ireland against Zimbabwe in a test match in Malahide or Stormont and therein lies another subtle gift in the ICC's ability to grant. No sport - not even rugby, has the ability to pull an Island together like cricket. Award us minor Test status - because we are as deserving as others - and then as a happy byproduct a gift to support a healing island.

  • John on December 24, 2012, 4:20 GMT

    @Simon Power on (December 24 2012, 01:29 AM GMT), I definitely support the idea of making Ireland a Test nation. The ICC did get their fingers burned a bit with Bangladesh so are understandably reluctant to rush into anything. Obviously we would all like to see as many nations playing Test cricket as possible but, if the standard isn't high enough, it may turn a number of potential fans off the game and hurt rather than help the plight of Test cricket. The fact that Ireland are setting up their own FC system is great and should be a major positive in their development. As an England fan, much has he's been a big positive in the England limited-overs teams, I'd have been as happy for Morgan to stay with Ireland to give them as strong a side as possible. I can't fault him for wanting to give himself the best chance of the most fulfilling career possible though. Right now, I'd like to see the Lions playing 4-day FC games against Ireland on a regular basis.

  • Dummy4 on December 24, 2012, 1:29 GMT

    @ jmcilhinney Yes your right ... can we have him back please? In all seriousness, we are nowhere near ready for big time tests but I would quite fancy a plan which includes tests v Bangladesh, Zimbabwae and perhaps New Zealand in 2015.... I think we could hold our own there and isnt the plan to widen the appeal of the game? To be fair the ICC are putting in money, we're setting up a first class structure - and with Dockrell, Stirling, Joyce, OBrien x2 we have the makings of a team that wouldnt be embarrased given the opportunity.

  • Ian on December 23, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    @Warren Smith: you appear to have overlooked the fact that our team represents the England and WALES cricket board, and that players from other countries in the union may also be selected. Additionally, who trained and nurtured the talent that by an accident of geography was born elsewhere?

  • Ian on December 23, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    Mentally, I think Yuvraj is the closest current player to Ian Botham and Shane Warne. He seems to have such an unshakeable belief in himself. Like Botham, he has a golden arm and picks up wickets with deliveries that are on the face of it nothing special. He seems to adopt Warne's philosophy of not having to actually do anything unusual, just to make the batsman think he is.

    It's a shame his Test performances haven't quite matched his limited-overs record, but the way he went about his four overs really made me smile, and I'm an England fan. This match was the better of the two tewnty20s by a long way because it was a contest, not just because England won it. It would have been worth the entry fee just to see those four overs and Morgan's last-ball six.

  • John on December 23, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    @Warren Smith on (December 23 2012, 09:27 AM GMT), perhaps you missed Hales, Wright and Buttler playing the last two games.

  • John on December 23, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    @Simon Power on (December 23 2012, 01:01 AM GMT), it was a fine performance from Morgan but did you happen to catch him playing in any Test matches for England? Not the best advertisement for making Ireland a Test nation.

  • John on December 23, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    @Saud Choudhry on (December 23 2012, 05:31 AM GMT) The early stuff from Dindan and the other seamer was basically a load of junk but I get the feeling he was bowling short pitch stuff early on at Dhoni's request. His last over showed discipline and guile , negating Jos's scoop shot by following the batsman's actions and pitching the ball up to yorker/near yorker length. Even the final delivery was no gimme and Morgan struck the ball sweetly. 9 runs is relatively tough to defend against 2 set batsmen in this format. Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say well played to the batsmen

  • Dummy4 on December 23, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    Morgan seems to be very good at the 'bash the bowler' game. Not so good at cricket unfortunately. Would love to see some Englishmen come through for England soon.

  • Jegatheesh on December 23, 2012, 6:40 GMT

    Eoin Morgan showed he is a world class player. Lumb played beautifully for England. Nobody except Yuvraj bowled a good one over. Superb batting by Kohli and Raina but lost the match mainly because of bowlers. England deserved to win and they won.

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