England will take valuable confidence and momentum from 'massive' win, says Rob Key
Last Updated: 18/02/20 8:27am
Victory in the series over South Africa is “massive” for England ahead of the T20 World Cup, according to Sky Sports pundit Rob Key.
Eoin Morgan led his side to a five-wicket win in the deciding third T20I, scoring a blistering 57no from 22 balls as the tourists chased down 223 to win with five balls to spare.
Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler also hit rapid fifties and with England scheduled to play just six more T20 matches before the start of the tournament, Key believes the confidence gained from such a triumph is extremely valuable.
"We know they've got a lot of character but it shows how good they are as well," he told Sky Sports. "When [South Africa] get that score, I don't think England feared that at any stage. They have so many options.
"I always say in T20, it's all well and good winning as a team but having individuals, like Eoin Morgan and the manner in which he's chased that down, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and those players, they get so much confidence from that.
"T20, both as a team and a player, is about momentum and confidence and that [win] will stand them in good stead. That was a massive win."
With just shy of 450 runs scored in less than 40 overs, it was a difficult day for the bowlers but Key thinks the England attack can take an important lesson from it with similarly batsmen-friendly surfaces expected in Australia during the T20 World Cup later in the year.
"Mark Wood came over to me and said he was all over the place when he went in at the halfway stage and now he's elated," Key said.
"I think that is what you learn, we look at it and think if you've gone at six or seven an over then you've had a good game but you have to change it on a pitch like this and think [you have done well] even if you've gone at eights.
"Adil Rashid bowled brilliantly today but his economy rate wouldn't have been what you'd say was outstanding bowling and he only got one wicket.
"But on that surface you have to rejig it and I think they'll do the same thing [at the T20 World Cup in Australia] and learn that on a flat pitch when they've scored 220, if you've gone for 40 runs then you've actually had quite a good day."
Watch the first T20I between South Africa and Australia from 3.55pm, Friday on Sky Sports Cricket.