Eoin Morgan: England will be aggressive, despite South Africa defeat

Ben Stokes looks disappointed after losing his wicket
Ben Stokes was bowled round his pads for 29, as England went from 155-3 to 236 all out

England will continue their aggressive one-day approach despite losing a third successive game against South Africa in a series decider, says Eoin Morgan.

England were bowled out for only 236 in Cape Town, with an AB de Villiers hundred giving the Proteas a 3-2 win.

"Playing that way is a winning formula, it's just a matter of getting better at it and being more consistent," England one-day captain Morgan told BBC Sport.

"We're still in the learning phase of our development."

Since an awful World Cup campaign a year ago, a new positive approach to one-day cricket has seen England win series against New Zealand and Pakistan, as well as narrowly losing to world champions Australia.

However, on a Cape Town ground where no team has ever chased more than a modest 257 to win an ODI, Morgan's men were guilty of gifting wickets to the Proteas.

Eoin Morgan made just 64 runs at an average of 12.80 in the series, but did overtake Allan Lamb to go eighth on England's list of all-time leading ODI run-scorers
Eoin Morgan made just 64 runs at an average of 12.80 in the series, but did overtake Allan Lamb to go eighth on England's list of all-time leading ODI run-scorers

Alex Hales made a century, but England lost their last seven wickets for 81 runs to set a target that South Africa chased with six overs to spare.

"England have come a fair way since the World Cup, but they still have a lot to learn," said former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott on Test Match Special.

"You can't just keep playing one way. If you are going to be a top side, you have to think your way through situations."

South Africa v England ODI series
1st ODI, BloemfonteinEngland won by 39 runs (D-L method)
2nd ODI, Port ElizabethEngland won by five wickets
3rd ODI, CenturionSouth Africa won by seven wickets
4th ODI, JohannesburgSouth Africa won by one wicket
5th ODI, Cape TownSouth Africa won by five wickets

It is a view shared by England coach Trevor Bayliss.

"We've batted well for six to eight months, but sometimes it comes back to bite you when you play like we do," the Australian told Sky Sports.

"We do talk about the need to be positive, but at different times we do need to change gear. Hopefully, a few of our guys noticed how AB de Villiers paced his innings today.

"Overall, we're very happy because South Africa are a long way ahead of us in terms of ODIs played and centuries scored. To compete with a team like this and come close to winning the series was a great effort."

Media playback is not supported on this device

How England got so good at ODI cricket

Batting at number four, Morgan struggled in South Africa, making only 64 runs in five innings, and played an awful running swipe to be caught behind off David Wiese in Cape Town.

"For me, Eoin Morgan is not a number four," said Boycott. "He cannot bat there. He should bat at six like Michael Bevan used to do for Australia.

"When the ball is old and the bowlers are defending, he has the shots to whack them, he knows what to do.

"When he comes in at four, the bowlers have a decent ball; he isn't good enough around off stump."

However, Morgan, is eyeing two Twenty20 internationals against South Africa and the World T20 that follows as an opportunity to return to his best.

"I haven't managed to get going, which is frustrating," he said. "I'm looking forward to playing the format I love, T20 cricket, and turning things around."

Top Stories