Kanpur: Having finally won a game in India by beating the home side in the third ODI, England are feeling a lot more confident going into the three-match T20 International series that begins here tomorrow, captain Eoin Morgan said on Wednesday.
"I think confidence is the big word in T20 cricket, confidence and momentum. At the moment the guys are feeling lot more confident than they were after game two. They were doing a lot of hard work and did not get much reward. Having had a win under our belt, we are looking forward to the three-match T20 series in what could potentially be very exciting," Morgan said on the eve of the series opener.
England beat India by five runs at the Eden Gardens in the third and final ODI for their first win on the tour.
Morgan informed that Joe Root has recovered from a niggle that kept him out of the third ODI in Kolkata and is available for selection for tomorrow's T20 match. However, pacer David Willey will not take part in the game.
"David flew in yesterday, missed practice in the morning and he won't be fit for selection. Nothing serious showed up on the scan, which is a huge positive because initially it looked quite painful, but he won't be fit for tomorrow's game," said Morgan.
Looking ahead at the Champions Trophy in June in England, Morgan was asked about the relevance of the T20 series here.
"Yes it is (relevant). The group is very similar. Going from the series we have just played where bowlers have found it difficult honing specific skills going into T20 cricket can be relevant. We don't know where the fifty-over game is going," said Morgan.
"There might be periods in games where we just go to yorkers because that might work on a particular ground. So improving your skills to be able to do that might help the guys in the long run," he said.
"Winning is priority. Part and parcel of winning is improving skills along the way, or at least winning one half of the game, winning your bowling or your batting. In the ODI series we haven't really put up a complete performance. Our guys aren't really experienced either, we came here with a hugely inexperienced T20 team and got to the final (World T20). So the attitude and desire isn't a problem, it's just tying the skills together.
Morgan said there was no need for England to specifically groom T20 specialists. The team's sole T20 specialist is left-arm pacer Tymal Mills, who plays leagues all around the world and is hoping to be picked in the upcoming IPL auction.
"No, I don't think so. We are beyond that (grooming T20 specialists). Yes, 50 over and 20 over cricket are similar and probably more alike. It will happen naturally but it will be the difference between being a Test player and white ball player. We have one guy (Mills) who is, but that's because of his injury problems," said Morgan.
The preceding ODI series, which India won 2-1, was a high scoring one with teams scoring well over 300.
Asked whether the 50-over format is now faster due to explosion of T20 cricket the world over, Morgan said: "Maybe, the rules changed to an extra man in the circle and it sort of nullified what people called the 'boring period' where you run the ball around for 4-6 runs an over because of the extra man back. They are still different but trying to compare the two? You can in short spurts.
"What we're seeing is 50 over team is almost identical to T20 team. The same risk level and skill level you have to show in both forms is pretty evident. Around the 2015 World Cup you might have had three or four changes between the two groups. You might have had specialist T20 players coming in but we only really have one or two now," explained Morgan.
Talking about the IPL, Morgan said the performance in this T20 series might help some of the English cricketers land a lucrative contract.
"The IPL auction can be unpredictable. The positive our guys have is they have put in good performances over a number of years. These three games, whether they shoot the lights out or not, in the lead up to the auction it probably helps guys who haven't been as consistent as your top performers, guys like Ben Stokes. If he doesn't have three great games it doesn't mean he's not going to get picked up," the England captain said.
"But it is an opportunity for guys who potentially might have been fifth on the list for franchises to be elevated to third or fourth. And that's a massive opportunity," he added.