Champions Trophy 2013: Morgan & Buttler key, says England’s Giles
Champions Trophy 2013: Ashley Giles earmarks swashbuckling Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler as England's key men
Ashley Giles has earmarked swashbuckling duo Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler as the key men ahead of England’s opening Champions Trophy match against Australia on Saturday.
England lost their second series with Giles at the helm this week against New Zealand but the coach retains the hope that his side could be saving their best for the global event, which began on Thursday in Cardiff.
The hosts looked lacklustre in the first two matches against the Black Caps but found some form – and more importantly – momentum by winning Wednesday’s dead rubber game at Trent Bridge.
One of the game’s highlights was a blistering 62-run partnership between Morgan and Buttler, which England desperately needed to boost their score.
Their efforts have led Giles to believe if the dynamic pair can fire during the tournament, England may be able to spring a few surprises.
“Those two are really dangerous players,” said Giles. “At times when you play like that you’re going to get it wrong and we have to accept that but they will win games for you.
“Call it X-factor, call it hugely skillful but they will win games. Going into this Champions Trophy, it’s important they are playing with some of that passion and freedom, and I think we showed that we were a team too today.”
Giles will also be praying he can pick his stellar seam attack on Saturday, too.
Stuart Broad and Steven Finn missed the opening two matches of the New Zealand series but returned for the 34-run win in Nottingham.
The sheer presence of two pace bowlers seemed to bolster an ailing England side. Giles knows, too, he will need the pair for Australia, who were bowled out for just 65 by India in their warm-up match this week.
“I think we need to manage all the quick bowlers over the summer, it’s a big summer and also a winter with the Ashes,” Giles added.
“But they’ve come through [Wednesday’s match] and they seem pretty healthy but we’ll still have to make a check [on them].
“We’re confident they’ve both come through well. But it’s an ongoing process managing big lumps that bowl quickly; you’ve got to look after them.”