England news

Morgan opts for England above IPL

David Hopps

February 10, 2014

Comments: 60 | Text size: A | A

Eoin Morgan launches the ball for six, Kolkata Knight Riders v Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL, Kolkata, April 14, 2013
Eoin Morgan has given all this up to concentrate on winning an England Test place © BCCI
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Eoin Morgan has withdrawn from the IPL auction only two days before it is due to take place to try to win a place in the England Test side.

Morgan's reassessment of his career at a time when, at 27, he can be assumed to be reaching his peak comes after the enforced retirement from international cricket of Kevin Pietersen.

Morgan will now spend early season playing Championship cricket for Middlesex in the hope of forcing his way into the England side for home Test series against Sri Lanka and India.

His decision is a considerable switch of emphasis. Morgan has repeatedly spoken about how IPL has enhanced his game and he has been unshakeable in his determination to play it.

The IPL will seek to make light of Morgan's withdrawal. He has rarely set the tournament ablaze, although did have his most successful IPL season at Kolkata Knight Riders in 2013, averaging 27.90 over 14 matches with a strike rate of 127.91. He had a base price of Rs 15 million ($240,000). He is also only ranked 19th in the ICC Twenty20 rankings. But his abilities are regarded as considerably greater within English cricket.

His decision is a huge fillip for England after a challenging week in which the ECB has been widely pilloried for the decision to turn its back on Pietersen because of what has been explained as a breakdown of trust. Perhaps unsurprisingly, however, rather than let the ECB manage the announcement, Morgan told people directly on Twitter.

The ECB could not have clearer in expressing their faith in Alastair Cook as Test captain, and would not countenance talk of a change, but for all that Morgan's tactical acumen is highly regarded and if he breaks into the Test side it would be no surprise to see him immediately appointed vice captain.

Many still question whether Morgan has the game for Test cricket - he majors in the sort of deflections and innovations which are the very stuff of the limited-overs game, but if his desire is there he certainly has the mental aptitude.

He played the last of his 16 Tests against Pakistan two years ago, a victim of a disastrous Test series against Pakistan in the Middle East, and his average of 30.45 is a modest one. But he still has time to put that right and the curious crouching stance, which he once adopted to seek extra leverage in T20, has already been eradicated from his game.

There are few mentally-tougher cricketers in the England dressing room and, If he suggests he can make the adjustment, England will be quick to implant him in what is likely to be a rapidly-evolving team.

Morgan always insisted that he would push for Test recognition if he felt he had a serious chance of selection. Somebody presumably has "had a word" in the aftermath of Andy Flower's departure as team director and a change in the national selector with James Whitaker taking over from Geoff Miller.

Miller was adamant that Morgan blew his chances of Test recognition by remaining at IPL last year. At that point, Flower's commitment to an attritional game suggested that Morgan's chances of a comeback were low, but perhaps he feels his time is now.

With England's finest one-day cricketers - potentially Alex Hales apart - all now playing early-season Championship cricket, the likes of Morgan, Ben Stokes at the champions Durham and Jos Buttler, who has moved to newly-promoted Lancashire, will add fresh impetus to the start of the Championship season.

Morgan has also been appointed Middlesex's one-day captain this season but if Middlesex are delighted at his presence in four-day cricket, they must also fear that, if he forces his way into the England side, he will quickly be withdrawn from the T20 Blast - England's relaunched domestic Twenty20 tournament.

Morgan, along with Pietersen, has been the most box office England cricketer at IPL - the list has not been a big one - and it again begs the question as to whether the BBCI and ECB will build on a stronger relationship by negotiating the shift of IPL to early March to avoid a clash with the English season.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (November 11, 2014, 21:11 GMT)

I wonder if Eoin Morgan will do the same in 2015. It would be good news for Middlesex if he does.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (February 12, 2014, 11:12 GMT)

@JG2704 I rather got the impression with the squad selection for Australia that the selectors were over-confident and expected to win easily. The reasoning seemed to be that the core XI from the summer would play unchanged save in the 1st Test when Tim Bresnan would not be available and that the rest of the squad would not be needed and so some people could be taken to see how they shaped up. Jonny Bairstow was, basically, there to spend two months as a drinks waiter unless Matt Prior trod on a ball on the morning of a match. Monty was taken in case Graeme Swann fell over his rubber duck in the shower on the morning of a match. Finn and Rankin went as the spare bowler. And Stokes and Ballance for experience. No one seriously expected any of them to have to play. The reserves were picked more on a "just in case we have to make a last minute change" basis, rather than on the thinking that they would play a major part. Tremlett was there as a good old pro who could rehabilitate in Aus.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (February 12, 2014, 10:58 GMT)

@JG2704 I am not so worried about the wicket-keeping slot. There is plenty of talent there and it is just a matter of deciding which player to go with and what the emphasis is to be (with Matt Prior we wanted an attacking #7 who was also a good 'keeper but, going back a few years, Alec Stewart was picked mainly as an opening bat who could do a reasonable job as a 'keeper, but was only an occasional 'keeper for Surrey - that he developed into a fine one was a bonus).

I am more concerned about re-commissioning players such as Eoin Morgan who have never quite made it at the top level. He lost his central contract and, apparently, all interest in red ball cricket but, with so many slots up for grabs and, potentially, the captaincy, it is understandable that he wants to throw his hat into the ring. There is such a long list of players waiting for a chance (Moeen Ali, Sam Robson, Varun Chopra, James Taylor, Buttler, etc.) that it is not obvious to me that we need to go back to other players

Posted by JG2704 on (February 12, 2014, 10:11 GMT)

@CodandChips on (February 11, 2014, 15:55 GMT) Re Foakes - It's interesting that Buttler was directed away from his club to keep regularly in the 1st team but it seems Foakes has not been advised similarly. Cook plays for Essex but I'm sure that must be pure coincidence

Posted by JG2704 on (February 11, 2014, 21:18 GMT)

@Paul Rone-Clarke on (February 11, 2014, 10:36 GMT) I honestly don't like to 2nd guess our selections any more. They have made some very bizarre picks in recent times.

@CricketingStargazer on (February 11, 2014, 11:04 GMT) It was strange. I mean I think he had one really decent spell of bowling all season so cant understand how they thought he was going to be the monster of 2010/11 based on this season

@CodandChips on (February 11, 2014, 15:55 GMT) I still think Buttler may be firmly in the selectors minds for either the SL/Indian series. In fact if he starts the CC season well with Lancs it would not surprise me at all if they picked him. Was Morgan's 1st incarnation as a test player based on any sort of form in 4 day cricket? Again I don't agree - just think it may happen

Posted by CodandChips on (February 11, 2014, 15:55 GMT)

@JG2704 I think you misunderstand what I said. I was basically just disagreeing that England will pick Buttler. Am awondering why it wouldnt surprise you?

Also on keepers why are the ECB obsessed with Foakes. What's he like as a keeper and batsman? Surely he's stuck behind Foster at Essex?

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (February 11, 2014, 11:04 GMT)

@JG2704 The Tremlett experiment was as mysterious to me as it was to anyone else. I think that you know my views: he was selected as an "extra" player to monitor his progress based on his 2010 success and only got picked for the Test side by accident as the struggles of Finn and Rankin and the injury to Bresnan meant that we were a bowler short and he happened to be around.

Of course, you look at his figures and he was the only seam bowler apart from Broad to average around 30 in the series which meant that, in the context of that game, he was a relative success. He kept things tight, took a few wickets and allowed Jimmy A. and Stuart B. to be spelled. However, the fact that he was even considered was a massive admission of the dire straits that the team was in due to poor squad selection. He would not have got away with another Test without being taken apart.

Posted by   on (February 11, 2014, 10:36 GMT)

JG2704 Im hoping the Tremlett experiment has pushed England the other way. Unfit AND out of form at the same time. If you are pure class then maybe playing at 90% fitness can be justified. If you are 100% fit then playing an under performing player might have so e benefit (bringing them on if they are a youngster maybe) but picking a tall quick who can barely get through an over of 78mph dolly-drops without looking like he needs oxygen and has just come out a very underwhelming season? Why? Rankin? The guy looked so out of sorts and out of fitness. Another case for the oxygen mask after A short spell of leg side half volleys and wide long hops. England were carried by two bowlers who disguised just how poor the rest were...and boy were they poor.

Posted by JG2704 on (February 11, 2014, 10:07 GMT)

@BailsRgo on (February 10, 2014, 11:06 GMT) Just thought I'd let you know that Morgan has played a number of tests for England and WAS dropped when his form deserted him. Nice theory though.

Posted by JG2704 on (February 11, 2014, 10:03 GMT)

@CodandChips on (February 11, 2014, 7:42 GMT) Listen bud , we pretty much agree on what we think should happen here. I too would have Buttler and Morgan nowhere near the test set up at this stage which I explained in my initial post but I would now bw very surprised if Morgan is not selected and I wouldn't be a t all surprised if Jos is selected either. Personally I have no issue with Johnny but they seem to bring him in for a test or 2 and then drop him. Have no issue with Davies either

@CricketingStargazer on (February 11, 2014, 9:30 GMT) England proved last year (with Tremlett) that current form/fitness etc means little at times. I disagree with the decision but I'm pretty sure Morgan would not be giving up IPL 2014 if there was not a probabliity of playing for England.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (February 11, 2014, 9:30 GMT)

@JG2704 Doubt that Eoin Morgan has been guaranteed a Test spot because he has barely played red ball cricket for the last two years and what little he has played has been with only limited success. To be honest, probably he would not even have made it into Middlesex's best XI last season, even with their dreadfully unreliable batting.

That said, he is pure frustration because he has bags of talent and ability and when the situation moves him, will produce it. It could be that, like Mike Gatting, he will suddenly flower if made the lynchpin of the batting. Withdrawing from the IPL, taking on the Middlesex ODI captaincy and playing Championship cricket in a bid to get his Test place back all smack of someone ambitious to get into the side and, probably, to take the job away from Alistair Cook if the chance arises. The selectors may well have that option in the back of their minds.

On Jonny Bairstow... I think that his chance has gone. He is not central to plans any longer.

Posted by Whatsgoinoffoutthere on (February 11, 2014, 8:56 GMT)

Good on you Eoin Morgan.

The difference between this year and last is that there wasn't a vacancy in the team last year and it must have been hard to see the point. Sidelining Kevin Pietersen and the struggles of the rest of England's top order over the winter means a way forward for those who might be able to step forward and Morgan is definitely in that bunch.

Posted by CodandChips on (February 11, 2014, 7:42 GMT)

@JG2704 agree with a lot of what you've said. I certainly wouldn't be surpised if Morgan has already been told he has a test spot if he doesnt play IPL, or at least the ECB have secretly guaranteed him a place. I feared as much after the first ODI. Personally Id leave him to captain the whiteball sides. I also doubt his f/c last season even stands up to the likes of Taylor, Ali, Ballance or Woakes.

Disagree Buttler will end up in the side. England are obsessed with Bairstow, despite he can't keep or bat, or will probably show faith in Prior. Personally Id go with Davies as he can keep and bat reasonably, but would hope Prior shows county form. Buttler should establish himself in ODIs and T20Is before even being considered for tests imo.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2014, 23:54 GMT)

Morgan should be true to IRE

Posted by jonnyboy82 on (February 10, 2014, 23:41 GMT)

Looks like he's been given the nod for his cherished number five slot and another opportunity to prove himself. That should mean moving Bell upto three, and at least adds a bit of flare to the middle order. I hope he takes his chance. When the batsmen are badly in need of putting some confidence boosting scores on the board then Sri Lanka and India at home should provide that opportunity. They're both good sides to 're-energise' the team against.

Posted by JG2704 on (February 10, 2014, 22:45 GMT)

@Nutcutlet on (February 10, 2014, 16:49 GMT) IMO Morgan should be captain in both our SF sides but should only play in the test side if his 4 day form merits it. Aside from what I have written (hopefully published) re my concerns , if he plays regular test cricket (esp as captain) we lose him (through inevitable rest) for some of our SF games where he is pretty important. Also part of me wonders if the motives of ECB are to try and fastrack a SF specialist back into the side to appease some fans who want to see a flair player in the side - asin to try and make folk forget about KP...

Posted by JG2704 on (February 10, 2014, 22:44 GMT)

Personally I reckon Morgan has all but been guaranteed a test spot and I wouldn't be surprised if Buttler becomes the test WK before the end of the year either I'm not comfortable with it on many levels. 1stly I think the players need to do it at county level to earn a chance to begin with but my main concern is that these SF specialists are more likely to take the defensive mindset from our test side back to the SF arena than they are to ring their expansive games to the test arena. I tend to find SF specialists often overcompensate these days when they get in the test side. That's why guys like Gilchrist,Sehwag,KP and Warner have done so much better than others because they have not tried to adjust their game too much, In fact in recent years I feel KP has not expressed himself like he used to in the test arena and his form has dipped

Posted by JG2704 on (February 10, 2014, 22:44 GMT)

@ jackiethepen on (February 10, 2014, 13:17 GMT) Strongly disagree with you here. Positive intent has been a massive issue in our batting line up including your man and KP. A classic trait is getting bogged down and then trying to hit out to relieve pressure which has so often led to our downfall. KP used to play all these shots, walk down the wicket to pacers but that had pretty much gone out of his game. When a bowler/captain knows exactly what the batsman is going to do it much make planning so much easier.Is it coincidence that KP's form had dipped since he stopped playing all those innovative shots and since he stopped showing the intent he used to show? Bell himself looks twice the batsman when he uses his feet more and attacks more. Our batting line up has been laboured for some time and if Morgan is to come back in he should not be discouraged from playing in an attacking manner.

Posted by LeeHallam on (February 10, 2014, 22:19 GMT)

I am glad to see that he is giving himself a chance, I have my doubts about his technique, but I am happy to be proved wrong. Should he be entitled to play? Well I do have my doubts there to, I suspect that he is a bit of a mercenary, not that he can be blamed as he could not make his living in Ireland. As for the idea that Strauss was an import! We have always had players born overseas, Nasser Hussain was born in India, Derek Pringle in Kenya!, not to mention DeFreitas, Malcolm and Gladstone Small. We have also had those like Pietersen, Trott, Hick, Lamb, Tony Grieg and Robin Smith, who have come after playing in their own countries. What is important is how much those players commit to England.

Posted by Firegoblin on (February 10, 2014, 19:38 GMT)

...almost forgot:-

"While working for us, we may get so fed up with your anti-establishment views, that we really hate, we'll only go and promote you to captain of the team. Now we know that may be a bit strange - especially when you compare us to Australia and your good friend Mr Warne - but hey, we'll try it in case it works for us both."

Posted by glance_to_leg on (February 10, 2014, 19:32 GMT)

Very sensible comment from Paul Rone-Clarke. However, I suppose the difference between Morgan and, say, Strauss is that Morgan had, of course, played for Ireland (who frankly deserve test status in order to develop the sport). Strauss and (the utterly useless) Dernbach were completely English in their cricket education. I am more sceptical about the fast-tracking of (the also utterly useless) Rankin into the England side. Personally I think there is a difference between the thoroughly-English, but NZ-born Stokes, and players such as Fawad Ahmed and Usman Khawaja who strike me as little better than soldiers of fortune. But rules are rules, and you cannot blame any cricketing nation from trying to pick the best available team from the best qualified players. The problems come with the likes of KP, who, whatever his genius and tattoos, one always felt would have scored more runs and been happier playing for the Saffers.

Posted by Firegoblin on (February 10, 2014, 19:23 GMT)

xylo on (February 10, 2014, 17:47 GMT): They have laid down a strict marker indeed - it goes like this:-

"You can play for us for almost a decade, we will grant you the 'star' role in the team, we will put up with an enormous amount of negative baggage, and we will let you make at least two major unprofessional errors in judgement that negatively impact the team. All we ask is that you justify this faith with performances on the field, and don't make a third error. Oh, and by the way, unlike 20 years ago when being let go from the national team meant the end of your sporting career, now you'll be free to earn yourself several million as a freelance."

Man, I wish my boss gave me *that* lecture at my first day at work!

Posted by CodandChips on (February 10, 2014, 18:41 GMT)

England will pick Morgan in the test side. I personally don't think it should happen- I don't think he is good enough, certainly less deserving than the likes of Taylor, Ali and Ballance. Also I would rather he lead the white ball sides and have that as his prime focus.

Also there are issues of picking players on white-ball form. Bailey in the ashes? Rankin in the ashes?

But good to see him putting test cricket first. Although perhaps he has to- to justify representing England rather than Ireland?

My team: 1.Cook 2.Root 3.Bell 4.Taylor 5.Ali 6.Davies 7.Woakes/Stokes/Borthwick 8.Broad 9.Jordan 10.Anderson/Onions 11.Kerrigan

But England will probably pick Morgan, Bresnan, Prior/Bairstow. Perhaps they'll go with: 1.Cook 2.Root 3.Bell 4.Ali 5.Morgan 6.Stokes 7.Prior 8.Bresnan 9.Broad 10.Anderson 11.Panesar

Posted by xylo on (February 10, 2014, 17:47 GMT)

ECB kind of laid down the marker with its treatment of KP when it comes to batsmen who dared to think on their own. Morgan seems to have fallen in line now, and might be in the Cook Minion XI for a while.

Posted by Baundele on (February 10, 2014, 17:24 GMT)

Morgan is a better player in the shorter format. In fact, his T20Is average is higher than his below par test average of 30. So, his place at the test team is not firm yet. Ravi Bopara did the same a few years back, and lost his place in the test team.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2014, 17:05 GMT)

At Oz-Rules... Strauss an import? I know parts of the world are a little more parochial than others. But his mother is English and he's lived here since he was 6. I think if he played for anyone other than England there would be more thoughts of him being an import. Fawad Ahmed and Usman Khawaja anyone? Also - since Dizzy retired, do you have a single native Aussie playing for you? No? Thought not. People in glass houses buddy. People in glass houses. These comments are repeated over and over again - to no particular end. Mostly by the hypocrits of Aus or SA who are quite happy to import players these days themselves. We're multi-cultural. Almost 20% of the population of the UK are 1st or 2nd generation Oh and England don't poach anyone. They choose to play - and if they were refused on racial grounds when they had a right to live and work here the ECB could be sued and would likely lose.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (February 10, 2014, 16:49 GMT)

This must benefit England, at least in format cricket. Morgan is a prodigious talent and one of the very few Eng batsmen to enjoy international respect, as a fast-scoring #5. With KP having been bundled out of the way, England has sore need of his talent. But there is more than this. EM will know that Cook's captaincy is under sustained fire and whilst the ECB will do everything it can (including flying in the face of the public's overwheming opinion of Cook as captain) to defend the indefensible, it is, IMO, highly likely that EM will be the next England ODI captain. He should also be captaining the t20 outfit as well, but as everyone would expect, as the ECB has decided to go with Broad, we're probably stuck with SB for the time being. A resumed Test career cannot be outside EM's ambition now & if he strikes good early season form, I'd expect him to figure in the selectors' plans. Good idea to abandon the IPL. He has stuck his finger in the air and knows from where the wind blows.

Posted by Firegoblin on (February 10, 2014, 15:48 GMT)

I would be interested to know what Flowers' real view on Morgan was\is.

I always thought he liked his 'flinty eyed' determination (the old truism that you can't teach 'character') and wanted him to be the player that Pietersen couldn't truely be - a middle order flair player capable of defensive batting when needed.

As such, a bit like dropping Bell in 2009, I thought that he was actually challenging him to improve; and if he could encourage him to develop his long-form batting skills he was being lined up to replace Pietersen.

Were he to come back into the team quickly now, personally, I think that may validate that view.

To my mind the scheduling of the double-Ashes, and its impact on succession planning in the end had a much worse impact than people credit. It forced a particular strategy and pushed ENG to deal in short term personnel plans without having the option of testing and establishing a new team - one that may indeed have enabled the dynacism we craved.

Posted by crick_sucks on (February 10, 2014, 14:44 GMT)

Make hay when the sun shines. The way KP, Strauss and many more imports have been treated by ECB should have given some sense to Morgan. But what do you say, it is his life and his career.

Posted by RFC73 on (February 10, 2014, 13:43 GMT)

I wonder if he's thinking he might get the white ball captaincy if we flop in the World T20 - which would make sense IMO. Remember we play ODIs v SL in the IPL period this year, not Tests.

Posted by Pierre_Oxford on (February 10, 2014, 13:37 GMT)

Good decision. There are definitely places up for grabs in the England lineup, and given what our selectors have been doing in the past year or so, virtually anyone has a chance. Therefore, any player serious about playing test cricket for England will be doing his utmost to put his hand up and claim those spaces. That means scoring runs in the County Championship, not playing IPL!

Posted by Mahesh4811 on (February 10, 2014, 13:35 GMT)

In a days of slam-bang T20, such attitude is rare and so praiseworthy. playing Test Cricket was the reason he came to England in the first place. I wish him a lot of success with the test side :)

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 10, 2014, 13:25 GMT)

@Front-Foot_lunge (post on February 10, 2014, 13:06 GMT): I know your just fishing, but I'll bite and simply state that it's HIS [Morgan's] choice here - not England's; not their fans; not the IPL's. Clearly Morgan sees a promising opportunity here now that KP has gone, and has sacrificed (potentially) an awful lot of money in doing so. That's a bold and heart-felt statement.

Several months ago when KP was still around, I posted on several threads related to Morgan that I didn't want Morgan anywhere near the test side. He looked right at home in the shorter formats only (i.e. a white-ball / short-format specialist, who hasn't fared brilliantly in the longer format). But you know what: with KP gone, I can't think of a better opportunity for Morgan, and hats off to him for trying and showing such a bold statement of intent. Interesting choice that will get the selectors thinking.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (February 10, 2014, 13:23 GMT)

You know, @FFl, you would have said exactly the same thing about Australia in August (maybe substituting "Pakistani" for "Irishman").

Posted by jackiethepen on (February 10, 2014, 13:17 GMT)

Morgan has withdrawn under pressure - it's all a fall out from the KP fiasco. But with the 50-over World Cup getting closer it is a curious decision. He is our best one day player and is only a Test hopeful. As for the future who knows? He didn't do that well as a Test player last time. He was too aggressive. So he has to learn how to bat defensively, well cricket in April is the perfect time to learn. I wonder if Bell will keep his nerve and stay in the IPL auction. His was a surprise bid. I hope he does. There are enough yes men around Cook. Bell is genuinely loyal but he prefers an honest, friendly and open atmosphere to work in. Who doesn't?

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (February 10, 2014, 13:06 GMT)

As an England fan, I find it really depressing state of affairs, where our most promising prospect to stabilise the brittle batting, so ruthlessly exposed by the pounding Australia gave us, comes in the form of an irishman. An Irishman who has been tested before and found wanting. Reminds of Bopara all over again. Dare I say it, "winter is coming".

Posted by   on (February 10, 2014, 12:47 GMT)

"The IPL will seek to make light of Morgan's withdrawal - he is only ranked 19th, for example, in the latest ICC Twenty20 rankings - but his abilities are regarded as considerably greater within English cricket." has been repeated.

Posted by wapuser on (February 10, 2014, 12:18 GMT)

Be carefull morgan dont play better than cook and dont say anything to him even he is wrong. Otherwise u know what will happen (kp)

Posted by joseyesu on (February 10, 2014, 12:03 GMT)

To me England was a good test side when Morgan was there, any way he will replacing pieterson for a short while

Posted by Narkovian on (February 10, 2014, 12:00 GMT)

I had lost faith in Morgan. But recently I think he looks more capable of a return. He is hard as nails, and a great fielder. I hope he gets a go in the Test side again. Being realistic I think he is a better bet than Bairstow,Ballance, and maybe even Root, who has a lot to prove IMO. Perhaps he has already had a tip-off that he will play in Tests this year ? - hence withdrawal from IPL .

Posted by linsen on (February 10, 2014, 11:41 GMT)

i dont know whats wrong to english cricketer? even he knws can cant come back to side and he push a million dollor. wake up english man ...............

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (February 10, 2014, 11:37 GMT)

Interesting. Test captain has retained captaincy only because "there is no alternative candidate". Morgan wins his Test place back and makes a success of it. Suddenly Alistair Cook's place as captain for the 2015 season might look very shaky.

It looks as if Eoin Morgan is positioning himself for a tilt at Alistair Cook's crown.

Posted by India_boy on (February 10, 2014, 11:26 GMT)

Morgan is such a tremendous player and one of the most valuable no.5/6 in ODI currently, as was evident in his recent slaughter of Oz bowlers. When it comes to destroying bowlers, I rate him next to VK and AB Dv which is high praise indeed. Morgan in any other side would have definitely been a permanent fixture in ODI and top of the list for test probables, if not already a part of it. I mean come on, they play Bresnan, Bairstow, Carberry and all, but Morgan isn't better than them? Good for you Morgan, you definitely belong to the test level and if leaving IPL is the way to please ECB bosses, take it. All the best! cricinfo pl publish

Posted by android_user on (February 10, 2014, 11:15 GMT)

well done morgan

Posted by   on (February 10, 2014, 11:08 GMT)

He will never be in test side,,he is aggressive player like KP and Cook will not accept this. He should first be made skipper for English T20 side,, then after a year for ODI,,,

Posted by BailsRgo on (February 10, 2014, 11:06 GMT)

No doubt Morgan will gain a place in the Test team at some point. Just like Joe Root - he will be seen as the future and never dropped even when form deserts him. So in a year or two's time England will repeat the sorry performance of no more than average players taking up places in the middle order, out of form with no chance they will ever be replaced - because they're Root & Morgan of course with the full backing of the ECB and time-serving captain Cook

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (February 10, 2014, 11:03 GMT)

Classic example of the cycle. IPL push players away from international cricket and players push IPL away for national colors to fill vacant doors created by IPL! IPL is just few more editions away from death!

Posted by MarkTaffin on (February 10, 2014, 11:03 GMT)

Ah, the twists and absurdities of the ECB...

Morgan is given the nod for a Test recall to replace KP... who was "re-integrated" to tour India because England, A Cook in particular, hadn't the courage to pick his selected replacement - Morgan!!!!!!!!

Has Morgan done enough for a Test place, some nice ODI knocks apart? 10 weeks of CC1 cricket will, at least, let us have an idea

Posted by ozzystyle on (February 10, 2014, 10:59 GMT)

@Dannov747 I couldn't agree with you more! Way to go Morgan.

Posted by aniltjoseph on (February 10, 2014, 10:54 GMT)

Seems like England are out to victimize anyone playing in the IPL (Pietersen also). Now that he has opted out, they may give him a chance in the test team.

Case of pure jealousy since other england cricketers and commentators are not making money in the IPL, and so they constantly trash the IPL. I think through their success, Aus and SA have proved that IPL is not the evil monster as painted by the English media. It has resurrected careers of people like Watson, Du Plessis, Mitchell Johnson and Faulkner.

Hope Morgan goes back to playing for Ireland some day!!!

Posted by Firegoblin on (February 10, 2014, 10:53 GMT)

@Presynaras on (February 10, 2014, 10:17 GMT) - I agree that Morgan has not shown his full talent in the IPL, but I do think he is England's best option for an 'exciting' middle order shot maker in Tests, and a better long-term bet than retaining the fading Pietersen.

This may not turn out to be true, but I'd rather we try and invest in the future than try and rely on the past.

Also, while Pietersen has performed better than Morgan in the IPL to date, he has hardly consistently set the stage alight - it was after all an IPL journalist who coined the phrase 'Dumbslog Millionaire'.

I do wish him well - no matter the circumstances of his sacking - but I suspect the he will fade rather more quickly than other batsmen of a similar ilk due to his reliance on hand-eye co-ordination to play otherwise dangerous shots, and the effect that ageing has on this aspect of a players game.

Posted by   on (February 10, 2014, 10:53 GMT)

Great news! He is such an inventive player, he deserves a decent run in the test team, so long as he performs well in the County Championship in the early season. England need their best players. Morgan is potentially one of them, and I still hope there may be a way back for KP. There was an interesting short interview this morning on BBC Radio 4 'Today' with Sir Clive Woodward. He believes the ECB has been archaic in its actions, and any new coach, when appointed, would want to choose from the best possible players. Well said by a man who has managed succesfully in many sports! Too many people in England cricket management never look beyond their own comfortable and dated bubble.

Posted by IndianEagle on (February 10, 2014, 10:50 GMT)

a lot of new talent available... Actually i dont like tok tok tok Eng players, WI players far good than eng.

Posted by Presynaras on (February 10, 2014, 10:50 GMT)

@Dannov747- IPL might not be a benchmark to determine Indian players' ability, but it is surely for foreign players as they are all competing with each other for four spots in a team. Morgan's decision is in fact a face saver, as he wouldn't have gotten sold for a high price and wouldn't have made it to playing XI anyway for whichever franchise he is chosen. Morgan's decision to play Tests for England has nothing to do with patriotism, as he wouldn't have left Ireland for England, if he was patriotic. See Ryan Ten Doeschate playing for Netherlands with them still be an associate team. Morgan just wants more glory, fame and money. I wouldn't say anything is wrong with that, as we are all looking for a better life. But I am commenting so only to make the ones, who might assume Morgan's decision as patriotic or that he has 'SACRIFICED', know otherwise.

Posted by hayer on (February 10, 2014, 10:49 GMT)

Good optimistic decision but might be committing the same mistake as Bopara made few years back! Currently he is not in the race for a slot available in middle order in tests.

Posted by JustIPL on (February 10, 2014, 10:30 GMT)

Being on the big3 three tag does not mean that they will allow BCCI make money at the expense of their own business interests. Morgan was in supreme touch in australia and england are wise to keep him in the domestic circuit instead of giving indian bowlers/batsmen a chance to learn from him.

Posted by Dannov747 on (February 10, 2014, 10:26 GMT)

@Presynaras Hah, that's hilarious. You can't possibly think IPL performance is an indicator of class? Actually, I think the problem with English players is that they are not one dimensional enough for the IPL.

Posted by pom_don on (February 10, 2014, 10:26 GMT)

He should not only play in the test side, he should captain it he is the only one who thinks on his feet & is proactive rather than reactive like Cook, Bell for vice would make a lot of sense......trouble is the current crop at the ECB rarely show any sense let alone a bit of flair!

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (February 10, 2014, 10:23 GMT)

Well done. Our Indian cricketers though must be looking forward to this event, where they get to hammer millitary medium pacers on flat pitches. After getting thrashed in both SA and NZ

Posted by Presynaras on (February 10, 2014, 10:17 GMT)

Frankly tho, he wasn't great in IPL. He played perhaps 2 good innings in over 30 odd games he was involved with KKR. Even KKR management started looking over him for players like Kallis, Ryan Ten Doeschate and Shakid Al Hassan. Most English players are way too inconsistent. I can say that barring KP and perhaps older players like Owais Shah and Mascarenhas (who can whack at the end and bowl some tight overs) nobody from England is good enough for IPL, as most are one dimensional players.

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David HoppsClose
David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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