T20 World Cup: Morgan backs Willey to play ahead of Jordan in the final if Wood is unavailable

Eoin Morgan, the former England captain who led the side to the 2019 ODI World Cup at home, said he would pick David Willey over Chris Jordan to play in the final of Men’s T20 World Cup if Mark Wood is unavailable for the title clash due to general body stiffness.

Jordan had replaced an injured Wood in England’s 10-wicket win over India in the second semifinal at Adelaide Oval on Thursday. He clinched figures of 3/43 in his four overs and was praised immensely by captain Jos Buttler on bowling three of the last five overs.

But Morgan feels that the dimensions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where straight boundaries are shorter and square boundaries are longer than Adelaide Oval, may not suit Jordan and that left-arm pacer Willey could come into the side to pick early wickets.

“If you look at conditions at the MCG, they just suit him, whereas they probably work against someone like Jordan at the death with his yorkers. The MCG is so short straight and there is little margin for error so if Wood isn’t fit you might even see someone like David Willey come in.

“Willey can swing the ball and then you can bowl him and Chris Woakes at the death, bowling into the wicket, forcing Pakistan to hit it square and create catching opportunities. You have to have the ground dimensions working in your favour in big games as if you make basic mistakes and are hit to the short side, you are up against it,” said Morgan on Sky Sports Cricket Podcast.

With rain emerging as a huge threat for the England-Pakistan final to happen smoothly on Sunday as well as Monday, the reserve day, both teams will have to be ready for a Super Over. Morgan picked left-arm pace all-rounder Sam Curran to bowl the Super Over for England if such a situation emerges in the final.

“If you were to say flat wicket, everything set fair at the MCG, from afar it would be Curran. He would bowl into the wicket, wide so you can’t get it straight. You would set an off-side field and make them hit to the long side.”

Morgan felt England would need to see the bowler Pakistan bring in for the Super Over to decide on their batting pair which should be a left-right combination. “I would look at who is going to bowl for Pakistan. If it was obvious, I would send out who is most likely to counter it. I would prefer left-hand, right-hand, to be honest.”

“If it was spin, absolutely Moeen Ali. It might be (Sam) Curran and Mo (Moeen Ali) with Buttler at No 3 – but Stokes is also pretty good at Super Overs! And given the two spinners that they play — it’d either be Shadab (Khan, leg-spinner) or (Mohammad) Nawaz (left-arm spinner) – it might even be a Curran-Mo, not even Buttler scenario; Buttler at No. 3.”

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