England v Australia: Eoin Morgan reflects on ‘amazing’ summer


England’s cricketing summer should be regarded as a success despite the one-day international series loss to Australia, says captain Eoin Morgan.

It handed world champions England their first one-day series defeat on home soil since 2015 and provided the only blemish in a summer in which they have beaten West Indies, Pakistan and Ireland across different formats.

All of England’s fixtures have been fulfilled despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with matches being staged in bio-secure bubbles in Manchester and at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl.

“At the forefront of thinking before we bowled a ball was everyone’s well-being and that has continued,” Morgan told Test Match Special.

“It’s been an amazing summer and it’s been great to get our full quota of fixtures in.

“Guys have come and gone out of the bubble and the way (chief executive) Tom Harrison and (director of cricket) Ashley Giles have led things from the ECB’s perspective has been outstanding.

“If there was another summer of a bio-secure bubble we would probably have to look at guys spending more time outside of it or families being allowed to come in.”

Players have lived on site at the two grounds which has meant extended time away from their family – fast bowler Jofra Archer, for example, has spent 86 days in the bio-bubble, more than any other player.

Australia batsman Alex Carey, who made his maiden ODI century in the three-wicket win on Wednesday, praised the England and Wales Cricket Board’s handling of the bio-secure environment.

“I think if it brings smiles to the faces of people watching at home then we’re willing to play,” Carey said.

“We love playing the game and we’re really thankful for the opportunity we got.

“We’ll go our separate ways now but I’ll look forward to the next time we hopefully come over here.”

There is still men and women’s domestic cricket to come, with England women’s international summer beginning on Monday with a five-match T20 series against West Indies.

‘We might have taken our chances on other days’

England recovered from 0-2 in the final one-day international of the summer to post 302-7, with Jonny Bairstow scoring 112.

The hosts appeared to be on top as Australia slipped to 73-5 but Carey and Glenn Maxwell produced an astonishing partnership to drag the tourists back into contention.

Maxwell scored 108 from 90 balls and Carey 106 in a record 212-run partnership to push Australia within sight of victory.

England were uncharacteristically sloppy in the field, and could have dismissed Carey for nine had Archer not overstepped in having him caught at third man.

“If we were right on top of our game, we might have taken those chances. It’s always disappointing when you don’t,” Morgan said.

“When we look back, that will be something we can improve on.

“I thought we were right in the game. Given Australia have struggled chasing recently, I thought we had a chance.”

Australia had collapsed in the previous ODI, ultimately losing by 24 runs, but Maxwell and Carey held firm.

“We thought we were in trouble, absolutely,” Australia captain Aaron Finch said.

“Maxi is in the team to do a specific role, to try to swing the momentum.

“I don’t think there are many bowlers in the world who can hang with him when he’s having one of those days.”



BBC News