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Morgan urges England to relish the pressure of World Cup
England News

Morgan urges England to relish the pressure of World Cup

England captain Eoin Morgan has urged his side to relish the pressure and expectation that comes alongside the World Cup.

Tournament hosts and favourites England kick off the mega-event against South Africa at The Oval on Thursday.

England’s last warm-up match saw them thump Afghanistan by nine wickets at The Oval, with England dismissing the opposition for just 160 and then reaching their target in less than 18 overs.

The England skipper was back in the side for this match after recovering from a finger injury sustained during a practice session but took no active part and wasn't required to bat in an England innings where opener Jason Roy scored an unbeaten 89 on his home ground.

England, who currently sit on top of the ODI rankings, won 4-0 at home against Pakistan in a recent series before a team missing several first-choice players suffered a 12-run warm-up defeat at the hands of Australia in Southampton on Saturday.

Also Read: England favourites to win trophy on home soil

"We have felt ready the last week or so, even if we didn't play these warm-up games," said Morgan. "As a whole I was very happy with the preparation.

"When you play as convincingly as that it builds confidence in the hard work you've done both in training and in the game and the other side of it is that it gives us the afternoon and evening to switch off -- not playing another close game against a strong side."

Now Morgan has urged his side to relish the challenge of facing South Africa on May 30.

Also Read: England have done everything they possibly could for World Cup preparation: Eoin Morgan

"Everyone is going to feel that anticipation and excitement of playing the first game and it will be different than any other day and I will be encouraging guys to embrace it," he said.

Alongside Morgan, England were also boosted by the news that fast bowler Mark Wood had been declared fit following fears over a possible recurrence of an ankle injury.

‘We’re ready’

"It's the best possible news with both of them," said Morgan. "With Woody being a fast bowler it's inevitable we would have injuries but to come back with the scan as clear as it could be is great, so we are all ready."

Mark Wood suffered a foot injury and left the field early while running in to bowl during Saturday's warm-up loss against Australia in Southampton.

"I wasn't worried about the scan because I knew it was precautionary," he said.

"I probably could have carried on bowling but I didn't want to take any risks with it when I knew what was round the corner, especially with my background.

Also Read: Boost for England as Mark Wood declared fit for World Cup opener against South Africa

"I had a light bowl this (Monday) morning and felt fine, then I had a bit of a heavier bowl whilst the lads were playing football and that felt absolutely fine.

"If anything, I just need to get it on the ice machine 24/7 for the next couple of days. I will fully join in with practice on Wednesday and then be ready to go on Thursday if selected."

England have a trio of new-ball bowlers in their squad which includes the likes of Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.

But, having seen England rotate their attack in recent weeks, Wood was ready to wait his turn.

"It is a long tournament with a lot of games so I expect we will mix and match," he said.