Eoin Morgan believes that a touch of “naivety” could prove to be a good thing for England’s World Twenty20 prospects in India.
Morgan, the England captain, is the most experienced short-form campaigner in a group still in its infancy, having been put together following a post-World Cup clear-out by the incoming head coach Trevor Bayliss last summer.
Twelve of the 15-man squad have fewer than 15 caps in the format and while Morgan is an old hand in Indian conditions due to his Indian Premier League experience, several of his squad have yet to play in the country.
Indeed for some, their arrival on Tuesday in Mumbai represented their first time on Indian soil. While that could be seen as a handicap, Morgan is choosing to look on the bright side and insists his youthful team will not be held back.
“It’s a different challenge. Not only have a lot of our guys never played in the IPL, a lot of our guys have never been to India before,” he said. “But I think sometimes having that experience – particularly in India where a lot of teams come here, including us, and get hammered – can almost scar your perceptions and [affect your] play in the tournament.
“Having a little bit of naivety along with a huge amount of talent isn’t a bad thing.”
England’s limited-overs side have been comprehensively rebooted since the dreadful showing at the World Cup last year, with just six survivors from that tournament on duty this time.
There have been some impressive displays since the new-look side were put together, particularly in the 50-over format, though five consecutive defeats to end the recent white-ball tour of South Africa have tempered enthusiasm.
“I’m reasonably confident about things, Morgan said. “Before the South Africa series we had a really good run of things; we’ve seen in the group we have a lot of talent and a lot of match-winners.
“It didn’t necessarily happen in South Africa and one of the things after that trip that we talked about was, ‘Are we still playing in the right way? Are we being beaten in the right manner, doing the things we said we’d do?’ And I think we are. The attitude in the group is still of a really positive mindset and that’s very important coming into this tournament.
“I would say we’re the most expressive we’ve been for a long time. We’ve a lot of talent and we encourage our players to go out and be as brash and aggressive as they can and take the game to the opposition.”
Morgan was speaking on the anniversary of his side’s defeat against Bangladesh in Adelaide, a result that confirmed their group-stage exit from the World Cup and represented a new nadir of the Peter Moores era.
The Dubliner, 29, made a duck that day and admits the disappointments of his first major tournament as captain continue to drive him. “It will always be there, that World Cup,” he said. “Going through such a significant loss and such a down period in your career really does make you enjoy any success you have down the line.
“It’s been quite a significant factor in the turnaround we’ve had, the different attitudes, the different group of players and to a certain extent the results we’ve had. Not necessarily just that day against Bangladesh, but as a whole trip. It was a huge learning curve for me, particularly as a captain.”
England, who are in Group One alongside Sri Lanka, South Africa and the West Indies, face New Zealand in a warm‑up fixture at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.