Always ready to do battle for his team and what he believes in, Eoin Morgan has become the figurehead for England’s white-ball revolution. Since he was handed the captaincy of this team on the eve of the disastrous 2015 World Cup campaign, he has shaped this side in his own image. It is innovative, it is cutting edge, it is comfortable in its own skin.
This England ODI team never feel they have to apologise for existing, as seemed to be the case in the past. ODI cricket has been a focus, and this World Cup has been the over-arching target. This is the chance for him to seal his legacy as the man who finally got England to get white-ball cricket.
England have come close to winning big under Morgan but have stumbled when it really mattered. At the 2016 T20 World Cup the downfall came at the hands of a Carlos Brathwaite cameo of the ages. At the 2017 Champions Trophy a team that look all set to boss a tournament at home came unstuck on a worn pitch in Cardiff in the semi-final against Pakistan. Now, with cricket’s biggest prize on offer there is a chance for the England captain to walk off at Lord’s with the trophy.
While his leadership is important, it is vital not to forget the impact he can have with the bat. He is England’s leading run scorer in this format and since the last World Cup he has form has been impressive if a little fitful. Eoin Morgan lifting the trophy at the Home of Cricket after the last World Cup would be the ending of one of the great transformation stories in sport.