The Hundred: How Eoin Morgan & Trevor Bayliss have turned around London Spirits fortunes

- BBC News

The Hundred: How Eoin Morgan & Trevor Bayliss have turned around London Spirits fortunes

You cant keep a good man down for long, as Eoin Morgan has shown in the opening 10 days of The Hundred.

A poor run with England led to his retirement from international duty, but the 35-year-old has found form with the bat and superbly guided London Spirit to three wins from their opening three matches, the latest a nine-run win over defending champions Southern Brave.

They only won one game in the inaugural tournament, so what has changed for the Lords-based team?

Morgan has been reunited with Trevor Bayliss, the combination that guided England to World Cup glory in 2019, with the Australian head coach succeeding the late Shane Warne after the legendary leg-spinners death in March.

"Trevor Bayliss and I get on like a house on fire," Morgan told Sky Sports.

"We dont really talk a lot about cricket, we dont really do small talk. We love golf, and we dont really do meetings at all.

"All of our cricket chat is either at the nets or at the ground, so that when were away from the ground we can actually switch off.

"We try and get that message through to the players - we just want our players to enjoy themselves and be the best versions of themselves on the pitch."

All three wins have seen them bat first and defend a total. Their narrow wins over Brave and Oval Invincibles in their opening games were particularly encouraging.

"Chasing for us was a disaster last year, we fell short almost every time," added Morgan.

"This year we knew we had to change, so weve recruited really well and we want something to be able to call our strength. It was our batting in the first two games, but our bowling really showed up for us against Brave."

Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who is set to leave for international duty after their game against Northern Superchargers on Sunday, and West Indies star Kieron Pollard have signed this year.

The pair have played more than 950 Twenty20 games between them and have added much-needed nous and experience.

"Glenn Maxwell and Kieron Pollard would be a boost for any changing room and theyve also got a refreshed Eoin Morgan as well," said West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite on BBC Radio.

"A lot of things have gone their way as well and theyve recruited a really good bowling attack - it is a well put together team."

The bowling attack is led by Australias Nathan Ellis, who came in as a late replacement for compatriot Riley Meredith after impressing for Hampshire in the T20 Blast, and Yorkshires Jordan Thompson, who has joined from Northern Superchargers.

Both were superb at the death against Brave, bowling the final 20 balls in tandem for only 34 runs.

Morgan showed his experience and calm temperament by regularly speaking to the pair throughout, and shrewdly took the strategic timeout before that period to discuss plans one-on-one with Ellis.

He also bowled both leg-spinner Mason Crane and left-arm spinner Liam Dawson for 10 balls in a row, a tactic he previously acknowledged did not work well last year. But, on the bigger playing surface at the Ageas Bowl, it worked perfectly, with the pair conceding just 39 runs from 35 balls.

"Were going to ride this wave for as long as we can, confidence is hard to come by so were going to try and stick to the process as much as we can and hopefully well be where we want to be," said a happy and smiling Morgan.

With three of their five remaining group games at home, you would find it hard to back against Spirit forcing their way into the final on 3 September at the moment.

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