England ready for crowd 'mayhem'
Eoin Morgan's England Twenty20 hopefuls have much to gain if they can handle the "mayhem" of the home crowd against India at the 50,000-capacity Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium.
Indian crowds can be relied upon to flock in for two short-format matches - here and in Mumbai on Saturday - and produce noise levels with which few in the England team will be familiar. Morgan has the advantage of Indian Premier League experience, as does fellow batsman Luke Wright who was a regular in Australia's Big Bash Twenty20 league last winter.
"I think the biggest tip I got, before I played in front of such big crowds, was just back yourself," said Morgan. "Nothing changes around you. The ball still remains the same size, the field's the same size and they only field with 11. Keep things simple would be my message to the guys."
The captain, stepping up after Stuart Broad was ruled out through injury, believes that exposure can help others along an inevitably steep learning curve. Success could have other rewards too, namely in the Test aspirations of Morgan, Tim Bresnan and Samit Patel.
Morgan played no part in the historic series victory concluded in Nagpur three days ago, Patel was involved in the first three Tests but dropped for the last and although Bresnan was recalled in that match, he finished the series wicketless.
"It's a big opportunity for guys like myself and Bressie and Samit to go out and perform again," added Morgan. "It's going to be mayhem here and in Mumbai in the next game, and performing under pressure is what the selectors want to see. If we can do that it can nudge us up the list."
When it comes to keeping a cool head in exacting circumstances, Morgan will rely on early advice which has served him well. As for his own ambitions, a return to the limelight gives the left-handed batsman the chance to restate his claims after being out of the Test team since last winter.
"I think it's a benefit in one way that I've had a lot of practice over the last two months, and being part of a successful squad has always given me a lot of confidence because you're always fighting to play in a winning team," he said.
"If I was trying to get into a losing team, or a struggling team, it'd demoralise me a bit more, but it hasn't. Certainly, given the opportunity, I'll back myself to get back in the team, absolutely.
"I'm only going to do that through weight of runs. So everything starts from today. It's my first opportunity in two or three months."