World Twenty20: Eoin Morgan insists - 'It's not just about hitting more sixes'

West Indies 132-3 (16.1 overs) beat England 131-7 (20 overs) by seven wickets

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The Independent Online

England captain Eoin Morgan denied that a lack of six-hitting power is at the root of his side’s Twenty20 struggles. After losing their recent series 2-1 in the West Indies, England were outclassed in a seven-wicket defeat to the same opponents in Tuesday’s World Twenty20 warm-up here in Fatullah.

They managed only one maximum in a modest total of 131 for 7, Morgan clearing the ropes in the 16th over off Marlon Samuels.

That modest effort was put in the shade by the Windies as they breezed past their target with 23 balls remaining, hitting five sixes along the way.

Morgan’s 43 not out was England’s top score by a distance, while Chris Gayle’s unbeaten 58 and Dwayne Smith’s fluent 36 broke the back of the chase.

But Morgan rejected the notion that sixes were the only thing holding his side back in the shorter format, arguing that regular boundaries were the key. “I don’t think that’s the real problem,” he said. “You can never just concentrate on hitting sixes... getting the fours is more important. Around 82 per cent of games are won by the side who hit the most fours.

“But we never put ourselves in a position to take their bowling on, they bowled well but we didn’t play well enough to take them on. We never really got any substantial partnerships going, which was disappointing given the progress we made at the back end of the West Indies trip.

“We found it a bit of a stuttering innings today. We were a bit short of par and, given the start the West Indies got, we were staring down the barrel a little bit. It was just tough to get going.”

Morgan highlighted the lack of bounce on the subcontinent – particularly fresh from a trip to the Caribbean – as a factor and admits England must learn their lesson soon. They play their second and final warm-up match against India in Mirpur on Wednesday before beginning the competition proper against New Zealand on Saturday.

“We know about the lower bounce out here and that’s something we have to adjust to quickly,” said Morgan. “We’re focusing hard on improving our skills and getting some partnerships going. Hopefully, we can do that sooner rather than later.”

Morgan has been leading the side while Stuart Broad struggles with tendinitis in his right knee, but the pace bowler expects to return for Wednesday’s game against India.