England captain Eoin Morgan on Saturday paid tribute to Brendon McCullum, saying that former New Zealand skipper taught him a lot about leadership.
Four years back, New Zealand side led by McCullum skittled out England for just 123 in a World Cup group match and then hunted down the score in just 12.2 overs, which left skipper Morgan feeling as ‘close to rock bottom as I've been’.
New Zealand went on to lose the final against Australia while England crashed out following their defeat to Bangladesh.
Morgan has credited New Zealand for their revival in ODIs and, speaking to reporters ahead of the final on Sunday, he had warm words for McCullum.
"We are close mates," he said. "He's taught me a lot about leadership. He proved you can get to the highest level by being yourselves."
England, like New Zealand, have never won the World Cup, with the last of their three losing appearances in the final back in 1992.
"It means a huge amount to me and everyone in the changing room, it's the culmination of four years' hard work," said Morgan.
"It's an opportunity to sell this great game. We're very excited and we'll enjoy the game regardless."
England romped Australia recently in the semi-final to power their way to World Cup final.
Asked if they would need to produce a similar performance against New Zealand who recently edged India in semi-final, Morgan said: "I think we will, New Zealand were the best team in the group stage."
England’s back-to-back defeats at the hands of Sri Lanka and Australia effectively left them on the edge but they got their campaign back on track with impressive wins against India and New Zealand.
"Playing knockout cricket, has helped us," said Morgan. "We were in the last chance saloon in Durham."
Morgan warned his side against any sort of complacency and said he hadn’t thought about lifting the trophy.
"I haven't allowed myself to think about lifting the trophy. If you get ahead of this game it can bite you on the backside."