England injuries ‘a worry’ but not causing panic, says captain Eoin Morgan
Captain Morgan stood for his post-match press conference, so uncomfortable was the suspected back spasm that ruled him out of the majority of England’s eight-wicket win over the West Indies.
Opening batsman Roy also hobbled out of the action with a hamstring complaint, leaving England facing a nervous wait over fitness updates on two key performers.
Joe Root’s second century of the World Cup steered England easily to their 213 victory target, but Morgan admitted both he and Roy are injury doubts for Tuesday’s clash with Afghanistan at Old Trafford.
Asked about his own injury issue, Morgan said: “It’s sore. I’ve had back spasms before and usually it only takes a few days to settle down.
“It’s unclear at the moment, but we’ll know more in the next 24 hours.
“This is in a different area (from previous back spasms). You normally get a good indication the following day.
“If it settles down the improvement is the following day and then it gets better.”
On Roy’s situation, Morgan continued: “I don’t know how he’ll pull up [today]. He’ll go for a scan [today] and it will be 48 hours before we have a result.
“When any two players go down it is a bit of a worry. But it’s not panic stations or anything yet, we’ll just see how we go in the next 48 hours and go from there.”
Asked if he would be ready to face Afghanistan, Morgan added: “I don’t know. Like everybody, we’ll have to see how it pulls up. We’ll do a risk assessment and see how risky it is going into that game, because there’s another game that follows quickly.”
Jofra Archer bagged three wickets for 30 runs in a potent showing against his native West Indies.
Mark Wood took three wickets himself, with batting hero Root also claiming two key scalps with the ball in a fine slow-bowling cameo.
England’s fearsome bowling attack allowed the batsmen to canter across the line for a third victory in four matches.
Root’s knock took him top of the tournament’s run-scoring charts with 279, beyond Bangladesh’s Shakib-al-Hasan and Australia opener David Warner.
He brushed aside the importance of being the front-runner, insisting the team’s fortunes were the only thing that mattered.
“It’s not about how many runs you score or being the one who stands out in terms of the accolades,” he said. “It’s about building substantial partnerships that win games; it’s about us collectively getting the job done. Having Morgs and J-Roy go down, it was really important we didn’t panic.
“We kept it together and we did it convincingly in the end, that’s a really good sign.”
Hailing Root’s all-round performance, Morgan said: “I’m exceptionally pleased with him. I think he’s now the highest run-scorer in the tournament, he’s such an important player for us. He is the glue that holds everything together.
“It’s a sign of the quality of his batting that we haven’t seen so much of his expansive game recently. He’s exceptional to watch. To see him come out in this form and continue it is brilliant.
“Jos (Buttler) kept saying the ball’s turning more than we think here. So we spoke about Joe bowling for a couple of overs, then we went with it for one, possibly two.
“But he started brilliantly. He does take wickets, which is great.”
Archer came into this clash under significant scrutiny, given he had previously represented the West Indies Under-19s.
But the fearsome pace bowler with an English father came through in style, leaving Morgan hugely impressed.
“The addition of Jofra covers all three areas, from opening the bowling to coming on in the middle and also death bowling too,” said Morgan.
“So to have that at your disposal gives you a lot of options as a captain.
“It allows you to hold overs back, and if you take a wicket you can use him then.”
The West Indies’ captain Jason Holder insisted he remains bullish about his side’s chances of reaching the semi-finals, despite a second defeat in four matches.
“I think we’d be very foolish not to be confident of the semi-finals, still a hell of a lot of cricket left to be played,” said Holder. “We’ve just got to be disciplined and make sure we beat Bangladesh [on Monday].”