Eoin Morgan has revealed England’s humiliating defeat by New Zealand in their last World Cup clash left him “as close to rock-bottom as I’ve been”.
But the England captain said it had also been behind his side’s white-ball revival that now sees them on the verge of securing a place in the semi-finals of the World Cup.
The winners of Wednesday’s match between England and New Zealand at Chester-le-Street are guaranteed a place in the last four, although an England defeat would leave them facing the prospect of elimination were Pakistan to beat Bangladesh on Friday.
A World Cup semi-final seemed a long way off when England were skittled out for just 123 by New Zealand in a group match at Wellington four years ago.
The Black Caps overhauled that woeful total in a mere 12.2 overs, winning with a colossal 226 balls to spare en route to an eventual defeat by co-hosts Australia in the final.
But the way New Zealand played in that 2015 tournament made a lasting impression on Morgan, then as now England’s skipper in 50-over cricket. “It was as close to rock-bottom as I’ve been,” Morgan said at Chester-le-Street on Tuesday.
“Certainly as a captain and as a player, being beaten off the park like that was humiliating.
“New Zealand proved a point that you can actually be really good humans and grow the game and play cricket in your own way and win at the same time, which is incredibly eye-opening for a lot of countries around the world.
“I thought that rubbed off on everybody in the World Cup.” England subsequently climbed to the top of the one-day international rankings on the back of an attacking brand of cricket.