England captain Eoin Morgan said that the seven-wicket pounding they received at the hands of South Africa has not dented his side’s confidence going into the Champions Trophy. “I’d like to think it doesn’t,” said Morgan when asked about the harm that the defeat may have caused to the confidence in the dressing room in the post match press conference, “Obviously what cost us was that first hour — a lot of live, green grass on the wicket, but ultimately I thought South Africa bowled beautifully.”
Morgan said that the Proteas deserve a lot of credit for the way they bowled in the first five overs. “”We didn’t play too aggressively — a lot of our shots were defensive — so a lot of credit goes to South Africa.”
England were reduced to 20 for the loss of six wickets inside the first five overs of the match in Middlesex, which is also Morgan’s home ground in English domestic cricket. It is the first time in the history of One Day International cricket that a side has lost six of their wickets in the first five overs. England would have possibly been out for an embarrasing total had it not been a fighting half century from wicket-keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow.
Bairstow has thus far struggled to nail down a permanent place in England’s ODI side, despite some impressive recent batting displays in white-ball cricket. Coach Trevor Bayliss said that Bairstow could force his way in come the Champions Trophy, telling Sky Sports: “He’s doing everything he possibly can do. He’s putting a lot of pressure on, and that’s what we want. It’ll be an interesting selection meeting.”
England went on to be dismissed for a total of 153 with Kagios Rabada taking four wickets for South Africa. The visitors lost only three wickets before they reached the target within 30 overs. England’s first match in the Champions Trophy will be against Bangladesh at Kennington Oval.