Morgan backs Bairstow, says he has right to voice opinion



Jonny Bairstow is entitled to his opinion, said England skipper Eoin Morgan throwing his weight behind the stumper-batsman ahead of their crucial World Cup clash against India here on Saturday.

Bairstow recently said that there were a lot of people who were waiting for England to fail in the ongoing World Cup.

Pre-tournament favourites England lost back-to-back matches to Sri Lanka and Australia which saw their campaign getting derailed. Now they have to win their remaining two matches against India and New Zealand in order to rubber-stamp their berth in the semifinals.

"He's entitled to his opinion, like critics are. That's the way he feels," Morgan said at the pre-match press conference.

"People were waiting for us to fail. They are not willing us on to win, in many ways, they are waiting for you to get that loss, so they can jump on your throat. It's a typical English thing to do, in every sport," ESPNcricinfo had quoted Bairstow as saying. 

After England's loss to Australia, former skipper Michael Vaughan had suggested that bowing out at the group stage would mark their worst World Cup campaign, while Kevin Pietersen criticised Morgan, saying the captain was "backing away" from Mitchell Starc's bowling.

"I think critics are there to be critical. We haven't performed well, so they are going to be critical. They're entitled to their own opinion," said Morgan.

"I think the support that we've had from our fans and everybody around the country has been unbelievable. It has been outstanding. There's been an enormous amount of good faith and goodwill going around," he added.

Morgan did not want to blame his players for the poor displays, saying they flopped as a unit.

"No, I can't fault the commitment or application that the guys have produced in every single game. Where we've let ourselves down as a group is adapting to conditions.

"It's been a bigger challenge in this World Cup than previous bilateral series that we've played, so tomorrow is going to be exactly the same."

Asked about the flat decks, Morgan said: "As regards to conditions, they are what they are. We can't control them. It's not a talking point for us. It's a matter of us being better at adapting to conditions."

On facing India, who are the only side to remain unbeaten so far, Morgan said the match was not the most important one in his career so far as captain.

"No, I don't think so. Some of the most important ones that I've had to date include the semifinal of the Champions Trophy (2017). That was quite significant.

"If we hadn't learned from that and progressed on wickets that had been more challenging, I probably wouldn't have still been the captain," he said.



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