Wednesday, 29 June 2016, 07:23am
Eoin Morgan keen for action as rain frustrates England and Sri Lanka
The hosts' winning momentum has been stalled already by rain in Bristol, and captain Eoin Morgan is aware that another poor weather forecast may limit England's options again on Wednesday.
They were stopped in their tracks on Sunday, on 16 for one in reply to 248 for nine after their seam attack had restricted Sri Lanka impressively.
The tourists can therefore still win 2-1, with back-to-back successes in London and Cardiff.
Morgan knows a second consecutive no-result would mean England at least cannot lose the five-match one-day international series.
But game time is top of the captain's agenda as he seeks sustained consolidation of improvements made since the debacle of the 2015 World Cup.
In the 15 intervening months, Morgan's England first made a dramatic gear change in last summer's victory at home to New Zealand - a series notable for record-breaking big totals - and have since won in Pakistan and fought hard in defeat against World Cup winners Australia and South Africa.
The Irishman was also in charge for England's run to the final of this year's ICC World Twenty20, and a dramatic tie at Trent Bridge to open this series was followed by a princely performance in the 10-wicket win at Edgbaston.
Morgan therefore just wants to get back in the middle and keep up the good work.
"We want to play as much cricket as we can, and I suppose [the weather] has halted a little bit of the momentum we've had," he said.
"Tomorrow is about regaining that a little bit."
England were not at their best in Nottingham last week, but were very much so three days later in Birmingham.
"I think the cricket we've played, bar the first game, has been pretty good," added Morgan.
"The first game was a kick up the backside more than anything - so bouncing back from that at Edgbaston, I thought, was brilliant.
"Then backing that up with our bowling performance at Bristol was also very good."
Most of Morgan's team, like the rest of the country, were watching on TV as their football counterparts made a hugely disappointing exit from Euro 2016 at the hands of Iceland.
As debate rages nationally about who should replace coach Roy Hodgson, who resigned on Monday night after England's 2-1 defeat, England's limited-overs crickters are living proof that triumphs can follow apparent disaster.
Morgan added: "The learning experience we've had over the last 12 months, with the new group of players, has been so significant that there is almost a completely different team.
"I suppose for us, it was going with a new method and a new group of players."
Among them, Joe Root has begun the summer - in Tests as well as against the white ball - in modest form by his own often brilliant standards.
In the fleeting opportunity to rediscover his best in Bristol, however, England's number three played with promise.
He had time only to make an unbeaten 11 before the rain swept in, but Morgan is confident Root will soon be properly in the runs again.
"He looks in magnificent touch. I pair up with him in the nets, and it doesn't make me feel any better," he said.
"Joe is a class act who has scored a huge amount of runs."
There has been conjecture that Root, one of a clutch of ever-presents across the formats, may benefit from a break from England's continued hectic schedule.
He will sit out next week's one-off Twenty20 in Southampton, a decision with which Morgan concurs.
Rest is effective, he believes, only when a player is away from the match or practice environment rather than still on the periphery.
Root, for example, has played little part with the bat in this series.
But Morgan said: "He still expends quite a bit of energy.
"I don't think you switch off when you are in and around the group ... you have to switch off and get away."
England are likely to name an unchanged team at The Oval, again preferring four seamers to an extra spinner.
Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2016, All Rights Reserved.
Eoin Morgan is wary of a wet Wednesday at The Oval