T20 World Cup: England must recapture Eoin Morgan’s attacking style, says Moeen Ali

Moeen was the only batter to find his timing against Ireland

England need to recapture the aggressive batting approach styled by Eoin Morgan to win the Men’s T20 World Cup, says all-rounder Moeen Ali.

The top order has been unusually subdued, only hitting 15 boundaries across the two completed matches.

“We’ve got to be brave and play the way we want to play,” said Moeen.

“If we’re going to win this competition we have to play like that.

“We bat all the way down so we might as well entertain everybody, entertain ourselves and enjoy getting those 70s or 80s off 30 balls because that’s what really takes the game away.

“Getting 160-170 on good wickets against good sides makes it too easy for them.”

Former skipper Morgan, who retired in the summer before Jos Buttler took over as captain, revolutionised England’s white-ball cricket by encouraging an attacking approach from batters, culminating in winning the 2019 50-over World Cup.

Three years on, defeat to Ireland came when, chasing 158, England slipped to 29-3 and struggled to get going in a surprisingly timid batting display.

When rain arrived in the 15th over England were behind the required Duckworth-Lewis-Stern target, despite 24 from 12 balls by Moeen, meaning Ireland claimed a shock five-run win.

“It doesn’t mean going out and slogging but playing the way we can do and the reason why we were picked,” Moeen said when asked if they needed to adopt Morgan’s approach again.

“Put pressure on the bowling and take those risks sometimes.

“Against Ireland if we’d taken a few more risks at the top, which would have been hard, but if we’d put pressure on the bowlers that would have been a different ball game.”

New Zealand’s crushing 65-run over Sri Lanka on Saturday means the Black Caps, who beat England in last year’s semi-final, are in pole position at the top of the group in an otherwise tight race for a place in the last four.

New Zealand’s large net run-rate advantage means they will likely be able to lose to England on Tuesday in Brisbane and still progress if they beat Ireland in their final game.

Victory over England would see New Zealand secure their place in the last four with a game to spare as only Australia or Ireland could match their points tally and the top two sides progress.

England must beat both the Black Caps and Sri Lanka in Sydney on Friday and hope others do not overhaul their net run-rate.

“New Zealand are a very dangerous side, one of the great sides around, and we will have to play our best cricket,” added Moeen.

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