Eoin Morgan hopeful of Roy and Archer’s availability for crunch India tie
Jason Roy has been batting in the nets without any discomfort. (AFP Image)

BIRMINGHAM: England may find themselves in the middle of a bit of a crisis but the one thing that finally seems to be working in their favour is Jason Roy‘s recovery. Roy batted full throttle during England’s both practice sessions and chances of him returning to playing XI are bright. ALSO READ: Kohli sees tournament pressure reason behind England’s struggle

That said, there are slight concerns about yet another impact player, Jofra Archer. He did not bowl in the nets on Friday and was spotted bowled only gingerly on the eve of the match. Archer seems to be dealing with a side strain and a decision on his availability will be taken on match day. ALSO READ: Desperate England seek upswing against rampaging India to keep semi-final hopes alive

Needing a win to keep their semi-final hopes alive, the presence of Roy and Archer will certainly boost England’s chances, but Eoin Morgan, the England skipper insisted they won’t be rushed back if not a 100 percent.ALSO READ: Kohli unveils India’s away kit

“Jason is preparing to play tomorrow. Providing he gets through to today’s practice and tomorrow morning unscathed, we think that he might be fit to play,” Morgan said. “Depending on the significance of the risk. If it was going to rule him out long term, absolutely not. If it was going to rule him out for a couple of weeks, yes.”

Morgan said the same ruled applied for Archer: “We’re going to see how he comes through today. It’s the same thing he’s been playing with the last three games. So we’ll see how he comes through today. The exact same rule applies. If it’s going to rule him out long term, no. If it’s going to be short term, yes.”

Morgan’s counterpart Virat Kohli mentioned it, and many might agree, that the reason behind England’s slump could party be because of the massive pressure they’re having to deal with being the host country. England have produced the two highest ODI totals, but in doing so, have struggled to chase down those iffy 240-250-plus totals in the last two matches against Sri Lanka and Australia are proofs. Morgan however, begged to differ.

“I think we’re in an extremely lucky position to be in playing in a home World Cup for your own country is an extremely privileged position to be in, presents a huge opportunity. Two more group stage games left. If we win the two, go through to semi-finals, if we win that, we get through to a World Cup final. There’s still a lot on the line, and we’re really looking forward to it,” Morgan said.

That said, there are questions surrounding their inability to bat long on surfaces that aren’t batting friendly, although Jos Buttler, on Friday ridiculed the belief. Morgan, however, the contrary, pointed out England do like to bat on batting-friendly surfaces even though it doesn’t mean they can’t adapt to challenging conditions.

“If it’s a bilateral series, regardless, we want to play on the best possible wicket, preferably a batting wicket, and we always do. We bat deep. We bat strong. We tend to play in high scoring games. So it’s an area that we’d be more confident playing. I think everybody knows that,” Morgan said.

“Where we’ve let ourselves down as a group is adapting to conditions. It’s been a bigger challenge in this World Cup than previous bilateral series that we’ve played. So tomorrow’s going to be the exact same. We’re going to have to adapt to conditions, adapt to playing against a strong side in India.”

England don’t possess the greatest of records against India at the World Cup or in the last 30-odd ODIs against them. However, England did get the better of India during the ODI series last year where they emerged victorious 2-1. That’s the kind of form and belief Morgan is hopeful of from his side.

“The last time we played India, we beat them in a series. I think it was this time last year or the year before, one or the other. The team that’s been together has had success against India. We lost away from home in a very close, tight series, but we believe because we have beat them before,” reckoned Morgan.

The England captain also played down any possible negative impact the twitter spat between Jonny Bairstow and Michael Vaughan, or any such off-field nuances might have had on the team.

“I think critics are there to be critical. We haven’t performed well, so they are going to be critical. They’re entitled to their own opinion,” Morgan said. “I think the support that we’ve had from our fans and everybody around the country has been unbelievable. It has been outstanding. There’s been an enormous amount of good faith and good will going around, and it’s making our tournament at the moment, it’s making it that much more special to be a part of and to play in.”