England captain Eoin Morgan is delighted with Chris Woakes and Olly Stone’s brilliant show in the second One-Day International against Sri Lanka on Saturday (October 13).
In a 31-run win on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method in Dambulla, the Warwickshire pair Woakes (3) and Stone (1) picked up four of the five Sri Lankan wickets between them.
England finished off the innings at 278-9 with Morgan scoring laudable 92 while batting first, in reply, Sri Lanka managed to score 140 for 5 in 29 overs before the rain came down and the match went to the lap of the tourists, which saw them leading 1-0 in the five-match ODI series after the first match was abandoned.
Debutant Stone, who can operate at around 145kph (90mph), is a replacement for Liam Plunkett, who is not part of first three ODIs as he is getting married, was preferred over Mark Wood, who has been England's premier choice to open the bowling in ODIs over the years.
Morgan is delighted with the constantly increasing strength in the bowling department, which gives him unusual dilemmas in picking Playing XI, as all players are excellent with their own skills. There are also Tom and Sam Curran in the squad and Jake Ball at home, but England cannot pick them in their XI, as the incumbents are just better at the moment.
Morgan told Talk SPORT after the game, “It is unfortunate, but when a side is doing well it tends to be the case that guys are sitting out who would be in any other team. Due to the success of the team, it's unfortunate they miss out. To be honest there hasn't been a huge amount of depth in one position and that's replacing Liam Plunkett. He's been phenomenal for us for the last few years and he went down in Australia and we found it very difficult to get a bowler with the same attributes - to bowl quick and change the pace of the game at any stage of the 50 overs.”
On Olly’s chances in the World Cup 2019, Morgan added, “There were signs today suggest Olly could be one of those guys. Even taking the new ball gives him a new string to his bow. Liam doesn't really do that. I don't think you can disregard Olly from the World Cup based on today.”
He continued to praise the debutant, “I thought Olly got off to a flyer. He’s been bowling exactly like he’s been bowling since he landed in Sri Lanka. He’s been bowling with pace and got the ball to move laterally which is great and he showed a cool calm head which is a delight.”
Morgan signed off by saying, “We know a huge amount about Chris Woakes as he’s been our MVP for years and we’re very lucky to have such a skilled bowler and a reliable campaigner in him.”