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Eoin Morgan

Morgan chuffed with England's progress ahead of World Cup

Eoin Morgan, the England captain, said that their victories over Pakistan in the ongoing one-day international series have boosted the side's confidence ahead of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019.

England's latest triumph saw them pull off an unreal chase of 359 in under 45 overs, propelled by a belligerent 93-ball 128 from wicket-keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow. It was England's second highest successful run-chase, and with the premier tournament starting in just over two weeks, Morgan was happy with the state of affairs.

"When guys perform like this, it builds confidence within the changing room," he said. "With regards to looking ahead, that is a really positive thing for our group."

The skipper also hinted that there could be more changes and rotations in the last two ODIs, now that the series has already been won. "Hopefully, we’ll see Mark Wood - his preparations have been really good," he said.

"There will be more opportunity for Joe [Denly], hopefully, in the next two games. Being such a small ground, we only tend to play one spinner here - obviously, Moeen played as well, and we had the luxury of having Joe as the allrounder. So it’s unfortunate that he only bowled one over, but I think he’ll have a chance again in, hopefully, one of the next two games."

Bairstow, the architect of England's win, credited the Indian Premier League with helping him grow as a batsman. Baristow played for the first time in the league this season, and was one of the lynchpins of Sunrisers Hyderabad, forming a prolific opening partnership with David Warner. He finished as Hyderabad's second-highest run-scorer, despite playing in only 10 of the 15 games.

With regards to looking ahead, that is a really positive thing for our group.

Eoin Morgan

"I genuinely loved it, being over there. You are able to learn different things from different coaches and different players that are quality within their own right," he said. "So if you’re able to keep learning from them, as well as the guys over here, then that can only be a good thing. And playing under that pressure and expectation, hopefully, can only help."

It was Bairstow's 159-run opening stand with Jason Roy that set the tone for the stunning chase. He and Roy have now struck 1675 runs opening the innings, at an average of 64.42, making theirs the most successful opening partnership for England in ODIs ever, going past Alastair Cook and Ian Bell's tally of 1580.

"To knock 360 off with five overs left is really pleasing for us as a group,” he said. "You want to be going on and getting 160 or 170, and potentially 200 and seeing your team through. That’s where we’re at as a group of players at the moment, having competition to go and get the 150s and 160s, and beyond."

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