England must refocus ahead of IT20 series decider against South Africa at the Ageas Bowl on Sunday

by 24britishtvJuly 29, 2022, 6 a.m. 20
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England must refocus ahead of IT20 series decider against South Africa at the Ageas Bowl on Sunday

Eoin Morgan says England will need a "reasonable crack of the whip" in order to refocus ahead of Sunday's crunch IT20 decider against South Africa at the Ageas Bowl.

Jos Buttler's hopes of landing a first series win since taking over as England's white-ball captain will go all the way to the wire after a decisive turn from Rilee Rossouw saw South Africa square the T20 scoreline 1-1 with a 58-run win in Cardiff on Thursday.

Victory in the first T20 in Bristol on Wednesday gave England the chance to wrap things up on Welsh soil but they could not match Rilee Rossouw's match-winning 96 not out.
• England slip to defeat as slick South Africa set up T20 decider
• England vs South Africa, second T20 international - as it happened

The series will be settled at the Ageas Bowl on Sunday, with Buttler in need of a result and Morgan told Sky Sports: "I think a reasonable crack of the whip from the skipper or the coach or the leadership group is what's needed in order to refocus on what's important to England.

"They only took three wickets tonight and struggled to make inroads throughout the whole of the innings. 207 is way too much. I know South Africa could have got a lot more today but it is way too much on a ground like this.

"Going to the Ageas Bowl on Sunday, reiterating plans, formulate things that are going to create chances throughout the game to stay in the game for longer."

Captain Jos Buttler knows how much it would mean to rediscover that winning feeling at the last moment.

"You want to win every series that you play and we haven't won a series yet this summer. That's something we're not accustomed to as a group," he said after England were bowled out for 149.

"But this is a start of a new cycle of a team. There's been a few changes - a new captain and a coach (Matthew Mott), and I feel like that's showing a little bit. We're still working ourselves out and gelling as a group and we need to do that quickly. Winning this series would be great for that."

Buttler did not chastise his side for the margin of defeat in Wales, acknowledging that they needed to throw caution to the wind to stand a realistic chance.

"We're not afraid to lose, we don't want to play safe," he said.

He also had some advice for the out-of-form Jason Roy, saying: "I'd just remind him of all the good things he's done, to trust himself even more.

"Every batter in the world goes through patches where you don't hit the ball as sweetly as you like to. It's easy when you score runs to say all the right things and take man of the match, but it's when you're not quite clicking that you have to trust what you do.

"T20 cricket is brutal, it demands you keep taking risks and being brave. He must continue to do that. Jason is such an imposing figure, teams can be scared to bowl to him, so you just have to remind him of that stuff."

South Africa's match-winning score was built around a knock of 96 not out from Rilee Rossouw, who put his international career on ice for six years with a Kolpak deal at Hampshire before his return to the fray this week.

"That was special," he said at the close.

"Representing your country is the proudest thing anyone can do and today was emotional for me. I'm grateful for where I am right now, to put in a performance like that for my country is special for me. Hopefully there's a few more to come."

Watch the final T20 international between England and South Africa, from The Ageas Bowl in Southampton, live on Sky Sports Cricket on Sunday. Coverage starts at 2pm with the first ball at 2.30pm.

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