Having led their resurgence, or more aptly, emergence as a force in the limited overs game, England captain Eoin Morgan has said that he is willing to drop himself from the team if it better serves the balance and the strength of the three lions during the ICC Cricket World Cup, next year.
Once playing a brand of cricket which was anything but not contemporary, England are now the no.1 ranked ODI side, with a win percentage of well over 70 - the best in the world. They are firm favourites to lift their maiden 50-overs world title in the game's biggest marquee event at home.
There are areas to work on, still and in line with this ambition, Morgan has expressed that he'll happily sacrifice his spot if it means England are perfectly designed and equipped, next summer.
"It is a brave call but we have come a long way with this team and we need to put ourselves in the best position in order to be contenders," Morgan was quoted saying on Sky Sports Cricket ahead of the five-match series in Sri Lanka, which starts in Dambulla on Wednesday, October 10, "If that means I am not good enough to be in the team as a captain or as a player I will be the first one to say it, I'm an honest guy. I'm more than capable of making a tough decision"
He further said, "I've dropped myself in the past to create opportunities for guys and see if they can play at international level or given them an extra chance to prove themselves. When you drop yourself as a captain it sets the tone and example of 'nobody's place is cemented'," and added, "We are trying to build a squad of 16 or 17 to try and win a World Cup, that's the objective. It's not an individual trying to get runs or wickets - it's a team collective everyone must be prepared to buy into."
Looking forward to the new task at hands, Morgan, who has now led England to eight consecutive series wins, said, "It's a new tour, different conditions and the challenge for us, like any other winter tour, is applying our own mentality and positive, aggressive style of play," he added, "Last year we learnt a huge amount and grew a huge amount, particularly in our bowling department - we though the pitches would be a batsman's paradise in Australia and New Zealand but they weren't and a lot of times bowlers won us games."
"Sri Lanka could be very similar and present different challenges, particularly for our batsmen up against two wrist spinners. They will be good healthy conditions for us to come up with answers to."
Morgan reiterated that the main goal remains to get better and said, "Hopefully this will make us a more rounded team and whatever the conditions at home next summer, we will be able to process it, adapt and make good decisions. We will continue to challenge ourselves, never mind the opposition."
"Right now I think we are in a good spot. There is still a lot of cricket to be played [before the World Cup] and hopefully, the guts of our work will be done this winter," he signed off.