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Morgan 'always neglected' death bowling - Harry Gurney


Former England bowler Harry Gurney says captain Eoin Morgan has "always neglected" death bowling.

England failed to chase a total of 224 in their last T20 with the West Indies, where they conceded 55 runs in the last four overs.

"It's probably been the biggest concern of mine about England for a number of years" said Gurney.

The former left-arm fast bowler, 35, played in 10 ODIs and two T20s for England, taking 14 wickets.

Nottingham-born Gurney, now retired, believes his ability to bowl economically and take wickets at the end of an innings was what last got him selected in 2014.

However, speaking to Test Match Special, he said Morgan had "never shown much interest" in death bowling and that he was "to an extent a victim of that."

"Eoin Morgan has undoubtedly been a wonderful captain and leader for England and taken that white-ball team to heights we could have only dreamt of as supporters. But one thing I think he has always neglected has been the death bowling."

Jordan has been one of Morgan's most consistently preferred bowlers over the last few years, but has struggled with the ball this series and was rested for Wednesday's third T20.

England coach Paul Collingwood called Jordan the "perfect T20 cricketer," after the second game but added that "in the end death bowling is something we need to improve on."

For Gurney, one possible explanation is that Morgan prefers "bowlers that can take wickets in the powerplay."

"That is quite understandable because if you take wickets in the powerplay that's the easiest way to restrict the opposition.

"The problem comes where you don't take early wickets or the opposition has a deep batting order and you do need quality death bowling in this format of the game, in my opinion.

"It's good that the spotlight is on it now in advance of a World Cup because it gives them a bit of time to try to focus on it and get it right because it wins and loses games."

England will look to rescue the series when they play the West Indies for the fourth T20 on Saturday [20:00 GMT].

England are trailing the five-game T20 series 2-1 and have struggled to contain the West Indies in the final overs of their innings.

Despite winning the second match by one run, they conceded 59 in the last three overs which is the joint-most England have conceded in that phase.

"Every team in the world is trying to get better at it" said Morgan after the game, adding that death bowling was "the hardest job in T20 cricket."

Pacers Chris Jordan, Saqib Mahmood, Reece Topley, Tymal Mills and George Garton have all been used at the death but have managed just five wickets between them in the series.

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