Former World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan has praised England’s “stunning” victory over India in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup in Adelaide.
England have booked a place in Sunday’s final against Pakistan, live on Sky Sportswith an incredible 10 wicket win after chasing their target of 169 with four overs to spare.
Alex Hales shot an unbeaten 86 and put on an unbroken 170 run with captain Jos Buttler (80no), Morgan hailing England’s dominance to field a strong and experienced Indian side.
Reflecting on England’s dominating success, Morgan said sky sports: “Absolutely stunning. They made a really good Indian team look ordinary and that’s very hard to do. It involves planning well, executing and then going the extra mile and making them put in bed.
“It’s like a big boxing fight, but in two different weight classes, that’s how it went towards the end with Alex Hales and Jos Buttler going absolutely crazy. I’m so happy for the team, for Jos and for (coach) Matthew Mott. The opportunity now on Sunday is huge.
“Against great players like Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav and Virat Kohli, they overtook them, outplayed them and made them look like an average team.
“Jos made a good point in that some of the toughest games at World Cups and the most stressful moments come right out of the group stages. There are so many different variables going on, different teams to prepare for. and different conditions.
“The final stages are to untie the dogs and let them run free, which they did.
“They blew away a very strong Indian team on paper today and they will sit in that locker room tonight, hopefully with a cold drink in hand, and reflect very proudly with one eye on Sunday’s final. .”
England’s perfect performance?
Buttler completed the victory in style, blasting pacemaker Mohammed Shami over his head for six to see England go home with the final ball from the 16th over.
“The character we have shown since [the loss to Ireland] has been [excellent] and we put in our best performance so far, against high quality opponents as well,” Buttler said.
“We came here very excited, there was a really good vibe around the band, and I felt everyone from one to 11 got up today.”
England’s 170-run stand was the highest opening wicket partnership in T20 World Cup history, with Hales proud of the role he played in England’s dominating success .
“It’ll be up there for sure,” Hales said. “It’s a huge opportunity to play India in the semi-finals of a World Cup…really happy with the way I played. It’s a special feeling in a country I love and I spent a lot of time here, so tonight is one of the best nights of my career.”
Where did it go wrong for India?
Another former England skipper, Nasser Hussain, took aim at India for not following England’s aggressive approach to the top of the heats. Despite a powerful at-bat card, they crawled to 38-1 on the power play, down from 63-0 when Buttler and Hales were at the crease.
Hussain said: “When you see England in the first six overs, there is a glaring error [from India]. Hales and Buttler are playing as they are and India is still playing old-fashioned power-play cricket.”
Michael Atherton echoed Hussain’s view on England’s approach to exploiting fielding restrictions and suggested he sends a stark warning to Pakistan.
“The game was won and lost at the start of every power play,” he said. “India basically let the English bowlers settle – and you can say that’s good bowling or careful hitting – but when England came out they didn’t let them settle. was a huge contrast between the two teams.
“It kind of sends a message to the team you’re about to face in the final.”
Watch England v Pakistan in the T20 World Cup final this weekend on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins Sunday from 7am on Sky Sports Golf.