T20 World Cup: England and Australia are joint second favourites for tournament, says Eoin Morgan | Cricket News


“It’s probably going to be one of our most difficult games”; England captain Eoin Morgan anticipating tough test against “joint second favourites” Australia and says Mark Wood is unlikely to be risked in Abu Dhabi; Pat Cummins hoping to land early blow ahead of The Ashes

Last Updated: 29/10/21 2:17pm

Eoin Morgan is expecting a difficult game against Australia on Saturday

Eoin Morgan is expecting a difficult game against Australia on Saturday

England captain Eoin Morgan has braced himself for another tough test against Australia, believing the old rivals are joint second favourites to go all the way at the T20 World Cup, behind India.

Both sides sit on four points in their Super 12s group after starting their campaigns with two successive wins, and whoever prevails in Dubai on Saturday night will take a massive stride towards sealing a semi-final place.

“It’s probably going to be one of our most difficult games,” Morgan said. “Australia are a very strong side – they’ve won two from two, much like us – and have started well.

“Coming into the tournament, they would probably be considered joint second favourites, along with us. They’re a side that we know pretty well – we’ve played against them a lot over a number of years.”

Mark Wood required an injection to his left ankle last week and has been unavailable for the emphatic victories over the West Indies and Bangladesh, and it seems unlikely the express pace bowler will be risked on Saturday.

Michael Atherton says captain Morgan is getting his bowling plans spot-on after England made it two wins out of two at the T20 World Cup

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Michael Atherton says captain Morgan is getting his bowling plans spot-on after England made it two wins out of two at the T20 World Cup

Michael Atherton says captain Morgan is getting his bowling plans spot-on after England made it two wins out of two at the T20 World Cup

Seamer Tom Curran has also been absent from England’s opening two matches because of a knee injury and while he will probably miss out, Morgan was upbeat about the pair’s recoveries.

“They’re progressing really well,” Morgan said. “Where we were before the first game, they’ve come on a long way.

“We’re going to make a call on that tomorrow to see how training is and then tomorrow we’ll make a call on them.”

The International Cricket Council’s strict kit regulations during global tournaments have denied England the chance to wear their ‘Moment of Unity’ t-shirts carrying messages of all forms of anti-discrimination.

England launched the initiative in their home games over the summer, but during this tournament they have joined the West Indies and Bangladesh in taking the knee – opting for a reciprocal approach to the anti-racism gesture.

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And Morgan revealed taking a knee for the remainder of the tournament is something that will be discussed in Friday afternoon’s training session.

Morgan added: “From our side of things, not being allowed to have our ‘Moment of Unity’ before the game is something we’ve talked about before the two games we’ve played.

“Later this afternoon we’re going to talk about it again, because if we’re not allowed to take our stance against all discriminations, we need to try to find something else that makes a difference.

“We can do (the ‘Moment of Unity’) in bilateral series both home and away. We’ll speak as a team and try and come up with something that we can do.”

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Meanwhile, Pat Cummins is aiming to land an early blow on England ahead of this winter’s Ashes, as well as help Australia’s push towards the semi-finals.

Whoever prevails in Saturday’s contest in Dubai will inch closer to a place in the knockout stage but with less than six weeks to go before the first Ashes Test in Brisbane, Cummins is eager to get one up on England.

Australia were hammered in the last World Cup showdown between the teams – with England winning by eight wickets en route to 50-over glory two years ago – but Cummins was insistent that meeting will have no bearing on this weekend.

“I don’t think so, it was a little while ago, different format,” he said. “It’s always huge. We play England a lot, I think the style of play is quite similar, we like to take the game on.

Pat Cummins is hoping Australia can strike an early blow against England ahead of The Ashes

Pat Cummins is hoping Australia can strike an early blow against England ahead of The Ashes

“They’ve been just about the form team in the last few years in white-ball cricket. It’s a huge game, we know these guys really well, we know it’s such a big game in the context of making those semi-finals.

“I’d say they’re probably one of four or five teams (who could win this tournament), it’s a format where you feel like anyone on their day could beat anyone else. They’re right up there in that top tier.

“I always enjoy coming up against England. There are a few players that will be coming out (to Australia) this summer from this side, so it will be great to get one on the board against them early.”

England’s next Super 12 match takes place on Saturday, when they take on Australia – live on Sky Sports Cricket from 2.30pm.





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