Eoin Morgan made no attempt to hide his disappointment after England’s stunning collapse here in the decisive third T20 international against India.
England lost eight wickets for eight runs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium to lose by 75 runs and complete their second successive 2-1 series defeat in white-ball cricket. More painful for the captain than the spectre of that wild flailing collapse was the prospect of returning home defeated in all formats from a tour in which England played good cricket at times without being able to assert their will decisively.
“It’s very disappointing. For maybe 60% of the game we were competitive and right in amongst it but fell away terribly towards the end. We committed a cardinal sin of losing two ‘in’ players in one over,” said Morgan. “We weren’t up to it at all. I’ll take my hat off to India. It was a performance worthy of winning the series.”
Morgan did defend his batsmen at the end of a tour when they have sometimes played beautifully without much reward. “We haven’t produced a batting performance as bad as that in two or two and a half years.
“We pride ourselves on our batting. It’s been our strong suit for some time. If there was a consistent run of performances like that it would hurt to fail again. But our batting has been outstanding for a long time. Tonight it wasn’t anywhere near what it should be.”
Joe Root had set himself to play the innings that might have glued together a successful chase of 203 on Wednesday but ended up never quite launching the planned assault. Ultimately he gummed up the innings in the middle overs.
“It’s a difficult balance,” Morgan said. “The one thing you do want to do is rotate the strike. It actually gets your eye in, you get to watch the ball from both ends. It’s disappointing that we didn’t do that. It might have taken a bit of smarter cricket to wrestle back momentum.”
Otherwise Morgan dwelt a little painfully on the narrow margins of white-ball cricket after a tour that turned on moments of brilliance but also on fine details.
“The one-day series [which England also lost 2-1], there wasn’t a great deal in it. That’s hurt us more than losing this series. We weren’t good enough to win this series but I thought we produced performances in the one-day series that were potentially worthy of wins.