The curtains closed on Eoin Morgan‘s illustrious career seven years after he took charge of an underwhelming England side and turned them into world beaters. The retirement came in the wake of recurring injuries and an extended lean patch, after he got out twice for a duck on the Netherlands tour.
“I was out of form but previously when I’ve been out of form I’ve been able to see a picture out of it. If the team were doing crap, I could see a picture out of it. I couldn’t see either,” wrote Morgan.
When all is said and done and the time comes to write down the authorised history of ODI cricket, Morgan’s era will go down as the point at which ODI cricket changed to ditch cautiousness in lieu of ambition. His experimentations are sure to serve as a blueprint for the England team in the years to come.
Even though Morgan has called it a day, his legacy will be remembered. He encouraged the team to be aggressive, even if it meant losing the game and employed simple tactics like, scoring faster than the opponents that helped considerably. Additionally, Morgan showcased immense trust in his players, often offering them multiple opportunities to prove themselves.
Before Morgan, England’s ODI record read: 79 wins and 78 defeats, but since he took charge, they have won 82 matches and lost only 37. However, more than the win-loss ratio, it is the nature of his captaincy itself that’s noteworthy. Morgan was one of the few captains to say “this is the way we play,” even when the team was at the verge of heavy collapse, instead of finding faults with the batting order, which is what many others do. Plus, he made the team exciting. When he scored 148 off 71 deliveries against Afghanistan in the 2019 World Cup, his teammates trolled him for being too slow.
“I’m probably just becoming a target for guys in the changing room to take down… The hundred I scored is considered a slow one in our changing room. Guys talk about it all the time. Tough school!” he had said at the time.
He retires with the most number of runs in the ODIs, T20Is, and his record of 202 ODI sixes for England puts him way ahead of his competitors. The second-best in the list, Stokes, has 88 sixes to his name. In the entire ODI history preceding Morgan’s tenure, only twice English batters struck centuries within 70 balls. Since 2015, there are 12 occasions of batters achieving the same. Apart from being the high point of Morgan’s career, the 2019 World Cup was also the denouement of the white-ball revolution that began five years ago.
(Featured Image Credit: Star Sports)