SYDNEY: England skipper Eoin Morgan will go into the World Cup desperately seeking form after registering a third duck in his last four innings in the four-wicket loss to Pakistan in a warmup match on Wednesday.
Morgan assumed the captaincy after Alastair Cook was dumped for lack of form late last year but since scoring 121 against Australia in a Tri-series match on Jan. 16, has scored zero, two, zero and zero runs.
While his Australian counterpart Michael Clarke was making his return from injury with an innings of 64 in a victory over United Arab Emirates in Melbourne, Morgan was enjoying a less successful evening in Sydney.
The 28-year-old did at least win the toss and came to the crease with his side 135 for three with the bright late afternoon sun casting shadows over the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Three balls later and he was trudging back towards a members’ stand packed with jubilant Pakistan fans having tried to lap sweep a Yasir Shah delivery only to steer the ball to Younus Khan in the slips.
The duck might not effect his batting average — the warm-up matches do not count as internationals — but it will do nothing for his confidence heading into Saturday’s tournament opener against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Joe Root, who high-scored for England with a sparkling 85 on Wednesday, said no one in the dressing room was concerned about Morgan’s lack of runs.
“He scored a hundred not long ago, he’s obviously a fine player, a fine leader,” Root told reporters.
“One thing he’s always done, is when the pressure’s on, put on big performances and there’s no bigger stage (than the World Cup).