England white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan has stated that the Hundred remains an easy target following England’s latest Ashes defeat Down Under.
The visitors lost the series 4-0, preventing a whitewash when they clung on to a draw at Sydney. However, more than the end result, it was the manner of capitulation that remains a cause of concern. Other than Jonny Bairstow, no English batter averaged over 33 across the series. There were a number of questionable selection calls, including not starting the series with either of James Anderson or Stuart Broad and not playing Mark Wood while the series was still alive at Adelaide.
Root has since questioned the first-class structure in England, while others have directed their frustration at The Hundred.
Morgan, however, has come out and defended the new format, saying that“it is laughable” that the tournament is being blamed for England’s poor Test performance, citing England’s longstanding problems with seriously competing Down Under.
Speaking to talkSport, he said: “People who use that as an excuse don’t watch cricket. Test match cricket has always been the priority. It’s a format for our elite players. At times, it’s been tough in Australia during the Ashes, they always are. We’ve lost the last two series five-nil, and it’s no surprise that Australia are very, very, very good at home.”
He went on to add that The Hundred has been an “unbelievable success”, and that people are blaming something which is the “furthest point of reality.”
“It’s laughable to point fingers at The Hundred. The Hundred is an unbelievable success. Our formats in county cricket and The Hundred, the way they are structured, are exactly the same as Australia’s. People need something to blame, so they’ll point at probably the furthest point of reality, because nobody wants to say that ‘you, know what, we’ve not had the prep we would have liked. We probably haven’t played as well as we would have liked and we lost.’ And that happens in all formats. But, I stress that Test match cricket has always been the priority.”