EOIN MORGAN insists the coded signals he receives from the dressing-room are “100 per cent within the spirit of the game.”
White ball captain Morgan rejected criticism of the controversial ruse and will again use prompts during the three one-dayers against South Africa starting on Friday.
Some have questioned the ethics of the system while ex-England skipper Michael Vaughan described it as “nonsense.”
Team analyst Nathan Leamon displays numbers and letters – such as ‘4E’ or ‘2C’ – on the balcony to tell Morgan how historical data could influence bowling changes and field placings.
Morgan estimates the messages swayed his tactical decisions a total of seven times during the three T20 matches.
He said: “I think captains are different. You get captains that enjoy the title and the power and the accolades that go with it.
“Then you have other captains who continue to be pushed and want to learn for the benefit of the team.
“For me, this is a system we want to use to try to help myself and the other leaders, almost to take a little of the emotion and feel of decision-making on the field and compare it to the hard data.
“As leaders, you continue to change with trends of younger players coming through, trends of the game and what’s needed at that moment.”
Morgan is in complete control of England’s white-ball teams and regarded across the globe as one of cricket’s best and most calm leaders.
So, in many ways, it is surprising he acknowledges in such a public way that he is happy for help. Perhaps that is one reason why he is so good.
Morgan added: “It is 100 per cent within the spirit of the game. There’s nothing untoward about it. It’s about maximising information and we’ll definitely continue to use it.
“There’s always been constant communication from the changing-room to us on the field to help improve my decisions as captain and Jos Buttler’s decisions as vice-captain.
“We try to correlate the flow of the game with the data we’ve already researched.
“It’s something we’ve used a lot pre-game and are now experimenting during the game to see if we can improve our performance. We’re always looking to improve.
“I think there were three decisions that varied in the first T20 game, two in the second and a couple in the third.
“So it’s nice to know the majority of the decisions myself, Jos and a lot of the bowlers are making replicate what we feel is right in the game.”
Joe Root will decide if he wants to use the system in Test cricket but it might be better-suited to the faster pace of limited-overs matches.
Root will return to England’s ODI team after missing the T20 matches while Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Sam Curran have flown home.
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Dawid Malan, who has the highest T20 ranking of all time, is not part of the 50-over set-up.
Morgan explained: “The one-day campaign since we won the World Cup last year has been about building a squad with the next 50-over World Cup in mind.
“It’s quite a long way away so the priority is T20 cricket with two World Cups back-to-back before the 50-over World Cup.”
England v South Africa, 1st ODI (possible): Roy, Bairstow, Root, Billings, Morgan, Buttler (wkt), Moeen, Gregory, Woakes, Topley, Wood.