Eoin Morgan has always been someone who cashes in when he gets on a roll, but even for him the World Cup performance against Afghanistan yesterday was special. As captain of the one-day side Morgan has tried to make England as dominant as possible and his innings of 148 from 77 balls, with an ODI record 17 sixes, was him leading from the front. The fact he had suffered a back spasm four days beforehand just shows his character. When I toured with him for the 2011 Ashes in Australia and the World Cup in the subcontinent he was more of a Jack the Lad type, but now hes married, settled down and has really blossomed as a captain. Read more:Morgan makes a mockery of bad back in eye-popping century Hes very professional. England were always expected to beat Afghanistan, but they have lost to Holland and Ireland at tournaments before and Morgan didnt want to take the easy option and sit the game out. Instead he embraced the adrenaline and produced a remarkable knock to remind us all just what hes capable of.
Morgan is a brilliant player of spin. He was one of the first to adopt the reverse-sweep years ago, but we didnt see much of it at Old Trafford – just conventional power down the ground. Once he was in the mood he took full advantage of it and that will give him a lot of confidence for the rest of the tournament.
Joy to watch
Next up its Sri Lanka at Headingley on Friday and I can only see one result. England are full of confidence and simply a much better side than their opponents, who so far have only picked up one win, against bottom team Afghanistan. I havent been impressed by Sri Lankas bowling which looks average at best. Lasith Malinga is 35 now and doesnt bowl with the same pace and wont be feared by this England top order. Whether they have to bat first or second Im confident England will score enough runs to seal the deal, while their pace attack has been a joy to watch of late.
Jofra Archer has taken 12 wickets and Mark Wood nine with some hostile and accurate bowling. They both seem to be really enjoying it – especially the aspect of scaring the opposition. Sri Lankas batsmen are yet to fire and are likely to be on the receiving end of a barrage in Leeds.