Eoin Morgan takes pointers from Ricky Ponting
Eoin Morgan admits England were given a batting masterclass by Ricky Ponting at Trent Bridge and has called on the top order to follow the Australia captain's example if they are to reverse their miserable one-day form.
Ponting compiled a match-winning 126 to help his side chase down a steep target of 300 as they went 5-0 up in the seven-match series, and Morgan concedes England need to turn their 40s and 50s into three-figure scores.
The 23-year-old top-scored for England with an eye-catching half-century, but the fact that England's starting XI could boast only five one-day international hundreds between them, including a Morgan ton for Ireland, compared to Ponting's 27 tells its own story.
Morgan said: "It wasn't great from an England point of view, but as a batsman watching (Ponting) I could really see that determination in him to bat for the majority of the 50 overs and take the innings by the scruff of the neck.
"It was as if he was saying 'I'm going to win this game of cricket for my team' and he went about doing that with a fantastic knock that is the hallmark of a world-class player.
"I've not had the chance to pick his brains yet, but watching him up close can't fail to help any batsman because he has dominated world cricket for such a long time now.
"He is such a great player who sets the benchmark for other batsmen around the world to follow."
Reflecting on England's inability to make game-changing scores - their 299 all out on Tuesday contained five scores of more than 30 but none better than Morgan's 58 - the Dubliner was at a loss.
"Certainly in the good one-day sides the top six are earmarked to get the hundreds. If one of you gets in then the idea is to go on and get a hundred," said Morgan, who is preparing with his team-mates for the sixth ODI at Trent Bridge today.
"The pressure of the situation perhaps gets to us and ultimately it comes down to decision-making and then the execution of the shot. That is where we continue to fail.
"I would love to be able to put my finger on why that is happening, but it is something that seems to be continuing with our batsmen and I don't know the answer. "I don't think anyone is comfortable with what they're producing at the moment and there is a real need to go out and grab a hundred and to do it quickly."
All-rounder Luke Wright is out for the final two games of the NatWest series with the toe injury he sustained while facing the bowling machine on Monday.
Dimitri Mascarenhas will continue to provide cover, while a decision will be made on Wright's availability for the Champions Trophy next week.
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