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June 18, 2019

Eoin Morgan

Manchester, England, UK

England - 397/6 (50), Afghanistan - 247/8 (50)

Q. Can we take it from that, that the back is feeling okay?
EOIN MORGAN: Yeah, the back feels good. (Laughter). The back feels good. Yeah, delighted. Absolutely delighted with the way it's come through that, particularly with the fielding. That was one of the bigger worries, turning and diving and all sorts.

So yeah, very happy at the moment.

Q. Can you tell us how it feels when you're in the middle of an innings like the one you played today, and if you've ever been in that zone before?
EOIN MORGAN: Never, never have I ever thought I could play a knock like that. I'm delighted that I have. I think coming in at the time where it was a 50/50 shout whether myself or Jos went in probably helped that, because after I faced a few balls, I had no choice. I had to start taking risks because of him coming in next, and then after I got dropped, it was a matter of just keep going. Yeah, one of those days.

Q. Sitting on top of the table after that, nice boost for the guys?
EOIN MORGAN: I think it is. Certainly going into Friday's game against Sri Lanka, another game where if we can produce the level of intensity which we operated at today, I think it will leave us in a really good place.

I know we made some mistakes today, but I thought the level which we operated with -- sorry -- at, you can't fault.

Q. You know that you've broken the record of most number of sixes, and the players who held that record were Chris Gayle, AB De Villiers and Rohit Sharma, so how does it feel to know you break the record of those big hitters?
EOIN MORGAN: Honestly, I don't know. It's weird. It's very strange. It's something, like I mentioned, along with the innings, it's something I never thought I'd do. It's a nice place to be.

I think I'm probably just becoming a target for the guys in the changing room to take down. The 100 I scored is considered a slow one in our changing room. Guys talk about it all the time. So, yeah, tough school (Laughter).

Q. How tough on your back, taking quick singles at all, and did that help you go for the big shots?
EOIN MORGAN: Myself and Joe aren't the quickest, anyway, so it's not really an issue, but turning and stuff, yeah, it took a bit of time before I could get confidence moving.

Q. And did that help you with your decision to actually go for broke?
EOIN MORGAN: Yeah. No, it was just a time where I had to take it on. Probably 18 overs to go when I first started, to go in there, 20 overs left, so yeah, it was go time.

Q. Have you been doing anything differently with regards to your sixing, because throughout your career, it's something like you hit six, every 35 balls, but even before today in 2019, you're hitting them every 20. Obviously that's quite a big jump. Have you been doing anything specific about it?
EOIN MORGAN: Not a lot. I've actually probably done a little bit less.

I think it's just sort of where I'm looking to score has changed over the course of my career. I think I've scored a lot squarer early on in my career; whereas I look a little bit more down the ground now. And I think when you look down the ground, your mistake is almost going to look square, which still gives you a chance of hitting a six.

Q. It's interesting to hear you say that you never thought you could play an innings like that when the last four years, you've been asking players to reach for the skies and push their limits and do things that they didn't think they could do. So is that not -- are you not following your own kind of guidelines?
EOIN MORGAN: I am. To be fair, the last four years, I've probably played the best in my career, but that hasn't involved a 50- or 60-bowl 100. I scored one in Middlesex that was I think 55 or 56. So I thought I could -- I would have it in the locker somewhere, but it's never happened. So I sort of gave up on it a little bit.

Q. And the fact that you have gone out and done it in a World Cup, maybe unfortunately for you that you've scored more runs in one innings than you had done in previous editions of World Cups; how much does it please you that you've been able to do it on the biggest stage in a kind of pressure moment?
EOIN MORGAN: Yeah, it does. It does. Simply, you know, the Champions Trophy two years ago, I had a couple of scores; I would have like to have gotten more. But this is where it matters. All the work over the last four years, over the course of my career, it's, yeah, it all sort of comes to a front now.

Q. Your team has already started to qualify for semifinals and semifinals are very crucial, so you will play with the same strategy or you have something special for the semifinal stages?
EOIN MORGAN: No, nothing special.

Q. Gilchrist had said about the best thing about hitting a six was that more than anyone else in the ground, he knew first that the ball is going to go for six. What is a special feeling for but a six?
EOIN MORGAN: That's exactly the same. It's like hitting a golf ball off the tee. You're the only person -- if you think it's going straight, you're the only person that knows at the time. It's a very special feeling.

Q. How touch-and-go were you to play in this game this morning, and did you have to have any painkilling injections or anything like that?
EOIN MORGAN: To be honest, this morning went pretty smoothly. Early start, getting my -- well, getting my back hot and all the muscles moving. I didn't have anything injections this morning. I just had medication, like tablets, for today's game.

So yeah, it was good. Like I told you earlier, I had a little bit of a fitness assess, a little bit of a bat, and I was good to go.

Q. Well-batted.

Q. When you came in, were England about on target or did you think you needed to --
EOIN MORGAN: We were on target for 280, 290, maybe 300. I thought it was quite cagey. I thought the wicket was a little bit tacky and we were always talking about getting a late 200 score, and that -- we thought that would have been enough to be competitive.

Q. Right. So that you thought was probably under 300?
EOIN MORGAN: Yeah. Yeah.

Q. I hate to change the subject from the batting, but the bowling wasn't too bad, either. Wood and Archer, good again.
EOIN MORGAN: Yeah, very good. I think on a wicket that didn't offer a great deal, it had really good bounce, and turned a bit for the spinners. But seam movement or swing, it had none. So when guys execute hitting a good length using their bounce well, it is satisfying because it's very hard to do.

And when the ball doesn't move around, it obviously means your pace is important, and all three guys pace looked good today.

Q. You are very harsh on our Rashid Khan of all people. Was that deliberate or he had a terrible off-day?
EOIN MORGAN: It certainly wasn't deliberate. We don't go into any game with any preconceived ideas about how guys can play, because anybody can have a bad day. He's obviously a very, very good bowler, and we've experienced that before. He's performed extremely well for a long period.

But like all good players, you know, it's when you -- you probably learn the most about yourself when your backs are against the wall, and it's probably the same case.

Thank you very much.

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