England’s white-ball captain is unrepentant, however, about the attacking intent which fell flat after Jonny Bairstow (138) and Joe Root (102) raced to 267-1 in the 38th over of the fourth one-day international in Dunedin.
The tourists promptly lost their next six wickets for 21 on the way to 335-9, and then had no answer to Ross Taylor’s brilliance after New Zealand initially faltered in reply.
The Kiwis pulled off a five-wicket win, with three balls to spare, to level the series at 2-2 and set up a weekend decider in Christchurch, with Taylor unbeaten on a career-best 181 on the eve of his 34th birthday.
Morgan did not dispute that England lost the match when four of their most powerful batsmen – including himself – mustered nine runs collectively as Kiwi leg-spinner Ish Sodhi (4-58) intervened.
At the suggestion it was a case of over-ambition, though, he said: “I’m a big fan of over-ambition. When two guys play out of their skin... we’ve got to put the cream on the cake and the cherry on top.
“We were miles away from it today. Our skill level wasn’t good enough to take risks that early – whereas it should be.
“It’s something that’s not happened before, and is extremely disappointing.
“All four of us that got out for very little all came in and were gutted, because there was a hell of a lot of hard work that was put in to get us in that position.
“It has been a one-off. We’ve certainly had collapses of the top order – in the first 10 (overs), we’ve been four or five down.
“But certainly when we’ve earned the right to push for a 370 score, we’ve not had a collapse like that.”
Asked if himself, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali had let the second-wicket pair down, Morgan said: “No. We win together, we lose together.
“Normally one of us has come off.”
That’s the way the batting order lines up, and that’s the way our template looks. If it continues to be a pattern we’ll look into it deeply.
“But everybody walking off, it’s hurting deep that we’ve not been able to capitalise on that.”
Taylor had to take the drinks buggy across the ground to his press conference as he struggled with the thigh injury which ruled him out of the previous match.
He hopes to be fit for the weekend, and agreed his 19th ODI hundred must rank among his best.
“Being there at the end, in a win, (it) has to be up there,” said Taylor. “If they’d got to 360-370 it would have been an unrealistic target - especially at two for two.”