England v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Cardiff May 22, 2011

Morgan wins selection race

81

Eoin Morgan has been unexpectedly named in England's squad for the first Test against Sri Lanka at Cardiff. The strong tip had been for Ravi Bopara to earn a recall to fill the No. 6 spot vacated by Paul Collingwood but Morgan, who hit 193 for the Lions this week, has stepped up after being the spare batsman in Australia. Steven Finn has also pipped Ajmal Shahzad to the reserve pace-bowler's slot, but is unlikely to play with Stuart Broad fit again after missing three Ashes Tests and part of the World Cup.

For the last few weeks the momentum has grown behind Bopara's potential recall, so Morgan's selection is a surprise. It had been thought that Bopara's decision to opt for Championship cricket ahead of the IPL - while Morgan played for Kolkata Knight Riders - earned him plenty of credit and coupled with two first-class hundreds for Essex would see him add to his 10 Test caps.

However, in terms of consistency the selectors have followed the next-cab-off-the-rank policy they favour and Morgan was one injury away from playing at any stage during the Ashes. The fact that the 10 balls he faced against Victoria on that tour made up his only first-class innings for nine months made his 193 against the Sri Lankans on Thursday and Friday even more impressive.

He had only flown back from the IPL last Saturday and had three days preparation with Middlesex and England Lions before walking to the middle with the score 162 for 4 on a green pitch at Derby. He responded with a superb innings and looked set for the second double ton of his first-class career until falling lbw. Bopara, meanwhile, had struggled to 17 while the ball was nipping around in helpful conditions.

"Ravi has been getting a lot of runs for Essex, but the controlled innings that Eoin played just gave him the nod," Geoff Miller, the national selector, said. "That innings really just showed us what he is capable of doing. It shows his strength of character."

Morgan has six Test caps under his belt having played throughout last summer, firstly as a replacement for the resting Collingwood against Bangladesh then for the injured Ian Bell against Pakistan. At Trent Bridge, against Pakistan, he struck his maiden Test hundred having come to the crease with England wobbling on 118 for 4.

His century came up with a straight six and he looked right at home. However, as the ball moved away during the rest of the series he didn't make another significant contribution and questions were asked as to whether his technique - drilled heavily in the one-day game - could stand up Test cricket. Now he's got an extended chance to silence any doubters because the place is his to lose.

With the big decision made there will be some small alterations to England's batting order. Bell, who enjoyed a superb Ashes series and crowned it with a hundred at Sydney, is expected to move up to No. 5 to take Collingwood's spot while Morgan will slot in at No. 6 where he has played all his Test matches. The preference of Morgan over Bopara means that Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen can expect to do some bowling.

The other significant decision in the squad was who replaced the injured Tim Bresnan. Given Bresnan's role of providing a pitch-up, swing option Shahzad had been favoured but the selectors have returned to Steven Finn who played the first three Ashes Tests.

"He was in the Ashes and again it's consistent," Miller said. "He's bowled well this year, he bowled well here against the Sri Lankans, and he's part of our squad. We are in a very nice position where we have a lot of quality seamers and it's hard to make that choice.

Finn hasn't taken huge hauls of wickets, but after the third day of the Lions game said he was feeling as good as ever about his game. "The figures don't suggest that I bowled particularly well, but this is probably the best I've felt this season," Finn said. "This season I've felt a lot better than before, and a marked improvement on where I was in Australia."

Finn is unlikely to make the starting eleven, however, with Broad set to resume his position having been injured in the second Ashes Test at Adelaide. Broad is a favourite of the England set-up - although his Test bowling average of 35 needs to start coming down - and it would be harsh to drop Chris Tremlett after his performances in Australia. And as the selectors have shown by naming Morgan, once someone in this England set-up they don't cast them aside quickly.

England squad Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wk), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Chris Tremlett, James Anderson, Steven Finn.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ArnavSingh on May 25, 2011, 5:06 GMT

    @chripy, what has Pietersen contributed in the last 3 years ? Well, who was the man of the series in England's first ICC Trophy triumph. As far as I remember it was Pietersen.

  • on May 24, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    Pietersen is getting way too much stick, yeh I know he's one of those frustrating players who you think has the quality to do great things, but come on! he still averages 48, he averaged 60 in Australia scoring a match winning 227 in Adelaide, not to mention the crucial wicket of Clarke. Maybe if the ECB hadnt messed him around with the captaincy saga he would be bossing teams with the bat more regularly by now! Get off his back, we are lucky to have him and he would walk into any Test side in the World!

  • humbaikar on May 23, 2011, 15:56 GMT

    England squad looks awesome on paper, wonder what happens on the field :)

  • on May 23, 2011, 15:38 GMT

    This is Morgan's best chance in a while to secure his place in the England team, he must take it.

  • MikeWren on May 23, 2011, 14:40 GMT

    I would have thought the last place has been filled by Pieterson. How on earth does he make the side? What has he contributed to English cricket in the last 3 years?

  • Nampally on May 23, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    Too bad Bopara's Roylalty lost him the IPL payout. Bopara has to learn a fundamantal thing - Look after #1 first. He turned down a lucrative IPL offer in favour of so called loyalty to England whilst Morgan did the opposite - accept the IPL offer and made money. In the final analysis Morgan has beaten Bopara for the place in the England test team. So Mr. Bopara, you missed out on a huge payout for 3 months of fun cricket and also lost your place in the England team.Look after your pocket and your livelihood first. Playing for England will fall in place when politics work in your favour. IPL has offered the Cricketers of all nations a huge chance to make money. All young cricketer should take advantage of it.Only KP of all British cricketer has taken advantage apart from Mogan. On the other hand Indian cricketers like Tendulkar & Dhoni have become Millionaires with a yearly payout of well over $ 50 Million in endorsements + Match fee.

  • ibbotsoni on May 23, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    bopara didn't play in the 5 - 0 ashes loss...

    but yes, I'm happy with the section of Morgan. Bopara will get his chance if he keeps scoring runs.

  • coooldude on May 23, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    morgan is any day better dan bopara...bopara dont have the confidence to play in test side...his body language,his confidence below par... on the other hand morgan is very aggressive nd very lively character.. for those who wanted bopara 2 be selected...dey might forget the 5-0 ashes loss....dat time also bopara overrated.....nd did nothing..... take my words....morgan is gona be the differnce in the 2 sides... nd eng will surely win the series......

  • Notredam on May 23, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    irish juggernaut treads and treads..on

  • on May 23, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    There is no comparison between Bopara and Morgan. Bopara could be better then Morgan but only in T20. But in test cricket Morgen should be the first choice. And English Team could be very dangerous for Srilankan team.

  • ArnavSingh on May 25, 2011, 5:06 GMT

    @chripy, what has Pietersen contributed in the last 3 years ? Well, who was the man of the series in England's first ICC Trophy triumph. As far as I remember it was Pietersen.

  • on May 24, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    Pietersen is getting way too much stick, yeh I know he's one of those frustrating players who you think has the quality to do great things, but come on! he still averages 48, he averaged 60 in Australia scoring a match winning 227 in Adelaide, not to mention the crucial wicket of Clarke. Maybe if the ECB hadnt messed him around with the captaincy saga he would be bossing teams with the bat more regularly by now! Get off his back, we are lucky to have him and he would walk into any Test side in the World!

  • humbaikar on May 23, 2011, 15:56 GMT

    England squad looks awesome on paper, wonder what happens on the field :)

  • on May 23, 2011, 15:38 GMT

    This is Morgan's best chance in a while to secure his place in the England team, he must take it.

  • MikeWren on May 23, 2011, 14:40 GMT

    I would have thought the last place has been filled by Pieterson. How on earth does he make the side? What has he contributed to English cricket in the last 3 years?

  • Nampally on May 23, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    Too bad Bopara's Roylalty lost him the IPL payout. Bopara has to learn a fundamantal thing - Look after #1 first. He turned down a lucrative IPL offer in favour of so called loyalty to England whilst Morgan did the opposite - accept the IPL offer and made money. In the final analysis Morgan has beaten Bopara for the place in the England test team. So Mr. Bopara, you missed out on a huge payout for 3 months of fun cricket and also lost your place in the England team.Look after your pocket and your livelihood first. Playing for England will fall in place when politics work in your favour. IPL has offered the Cricketers of all nations a huge chance to make money. All young cricketer should take advantage of it.Only KP of all British cricketer has taken advantage apart from Mogan. On the other hand Indian cricketers like Tendulkar & Dhoni have become Millionaires with a yearly payout of well over $ 50 Million in endorsements + Match fee.

  • ibbotsoni on May 23, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    bopara didn't play in the 5 - 0 ashes loss...

    but yes, I'm happy with the section of Morgan. Bopara will get his chance if he keeps scoring runs.

  • coooldude on May 23, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    morgan is any day better dan bopara...bopara dont have the confidence to play in test side...his body language,his confidence below par... on the other hand morgan is very aggressive nd very lively character.. for those who wanted bopara 2 be selected...dey might forget the 5-0 ashes loss....dat time also bopara overrated.....nd did nothing..... take my words....morgan is gona be the differnce in the 2 sides... nd eng will surely win the series......

  • Notredam on May 23, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    irish juggernaut treads and treads..on

  • on May 23, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    There is no comparison between Bopara and Morgan. Bopara could be better then Morgan but only in T20. But in test cricket Morgen should be the first choice. And English Team could be very dangerous for Srilankan team.

  • Nutcutlet on May 23, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    The recently concluded English Lions' match was rightly billed as something of a test trial; it should be no surprise then that Eoin Morgan has made it into the test squad. What more can a batsman do than let his bat do the talking? Once it had spoken, it would have been perverse not to have chosen Morgan above Bopara. It is just reward for his patience and positive attitude in Australia over the winter, despite being almost always on the sidelines. Besides being an attacking batsman who is capable of flogging a tiring attack into total submission, he is an outstanding outfielder - something that Bopara is not noted for. All in all, this election is logical, just and gives Morgan an extended opportunity to make the place his own. My hunch is that he will be an automatic selection for years to come - which is great news for spectators everywhere! Bopara is likely to receive recognition in the ODIs this summer, so he should not feel too despondent. Good luck to both!

  • on May 23, 2011, 4:35 GMT

    Don't think that batting is the problem to beating the Lankans. We have to bowl them out twice and frankly I'm concerned that Anderson, Finn, Swann and Broad have too few wickets between them this summer. We need a fifth bowler against them and so Patel and Bopara should be in contention. Morgan should not have played as his decision to play IPL should not have been rewarded with a one innings promotion. I personally would have also liked to see Pietersen, Swann, and Broad rested for later in the summer as the Sri Lankan line up is not one to play into form against. My side would have been STRAUSS, COOK, TROTT, BELL, TAYLOR, STEVENS, PRIOR, HARRIS, ANDERSON, KEEDY, DERNBACH. Keedy deserves a cap and has been head and shoulders the best spinner this season. Taylor deserves a go above Bopara who has had a few go's and Morgan for reasons stated above. Harris is in because Woakes is not fit and the game is in Wales. Stevens could be just the bat/ball irritant the game required

  • bala-chala on May 23, 2011, 4:01 GMT

    The right choice has been made. Morgan is a great player in the making. I do feel for Bopara though, they shouldn't have lead him on and should have let him play in the IPL.

  • on May 23, 2011, 3:07 GMT

    Bapora got a raw deal ........simple ..

  • Cricket_theBestGame on May 23, 2011, 2:53 GMT

    regarding samit patel, i've never seen him play but people say he can bowl and is a decent bat..going by what someone else said if he can bat for 4hrs surly he is fully fit. being big doesn't mean he is lazy and fat as flower have described him. warne was never fit in terms of "gym fit". he once said something like, he can bowl all day and not get tired but get him to run for few mins and he'll be out of breath. if eng wants to conqure the no 1 spot, they need to get out of this prejduice they seem to have. not everyone can be like Arnold like Chris Tremlet !!!

    morgan would be in any team. he is a uniqure talent and his temprement and composure shows his class.

  • wiseshah on May 23, 2011, 1:17 GMT

    england team is like United nation: south africa, ireland, india, pakistan, zimbabwe-- did i miss any country?

  • on May 22, 2011, 23:43 GMT

    Bapora not selected......holly scrap... .... Y only in cricket these raw deals going on for players ....Same with the West Indies team ...my god

  • dsig3 on May 22, 2011, 23:33 GMT

    Bopara is a good player but Morgan could be a great player. He has a unique game which could develop into something special. England seem to pull all the right strings these days......

  • on May 22, 2011, 23:02 GMT

    My opinion for the sl test squad will be tharnaga,dilshan,sanga,mahela,dinesh,lahiru,perera,lakmal,herath/mendis,fernando,welegedera/pradeep.hapw jawerdene is n't good sanga could be wicket keeper and randiv should be replaced by others hasn't been form aftre ipl

  • ygkd on May 22, 2011, 22:00 GMT

    I thought Morgan's runfest may have come too late, but good to see him get another cap. Just wish it was for Ireland.

  • wgtnpom on May 22, 2011, 21:14 GMT

    At the moment it's a no-brainer. Bopara has made runs but in the 2nd Div; Morgan made a huge score against the Test opponents. Who played in the IPL and who didn't isn't really important - they're two different disciplines. The England selectors don't pick a Test player because he's good at T20, nor do they pick him to snub the IPL. They pick him because they believe he's the most likely of the contenders for that spot to succeed in the upcoming Test match. Also it's good to see Broad returning - a very good pace bowler but his average is too high at present, and a potential for lots of lower order runs. Hopefully his appointment as T20 captain will boost his confidence to perform with the ball in Tests. This side should be too strong for SL in early season conditions.

  • on May 22, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    In answer to rakeshkanuri, Bresnan is injured I'm afraid. Broke down in Championship match a couple of weeks ago.

  • LancsTwins on May 22, 2011, 18:14 GMT

    I think people are over emphasising the value of Bopara's summer so far, a couple of tons against poor second division attacks. I'm not as convinced as some people here that Morgan has definitely got the technique for Test cricket - he had a modest start last year - but I think it's right that he gets the nod at this stage. At the moment Morgans seems to have the better temperament for a pressure situation, something the Lions game served to remind.

  • Hasso29 on May 22, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    morgan is a class player!

  • Jim1207 on May 22, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    Can anyone explain me why Samit Patel - who has batted for more than 4 hours in first-class cricket in current match against Srilankans - was insulted during world cup selection and current test match selections as well on the grounds of being "unfit". He is batting better than Ravi Bopara surely and a better bowler obviously too. Seems like English coaching staff emphasis more on fitness than talent, are they going to play WWE?

  • avidfan on May 22, 2011, 15:23 GMT

    haha bopara missed IPl and now missing the test series as wel

  • CricSamraat on May 22, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    Sensible decision by English selectors. I'm glad commonsense prevailed. Bopara could not have gotten a say over Morgan , given the past performance, current form, and inherent ability to excel at batting. Being after making legal money in IPL can not be held against a player - if anything, it should go in favor of a player as IPL teams pay big bucks to guys who can produce not just show up.

  • sachin_vvsfan on May 22, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    Give half million to Bopara and see if he still chooses county ahead of IPL. He just tried his luck as he knew collingwood is out of Test cricket. But morgan is technically sound on any day and the selection is justified.period

  • SajithKrishna on May 22, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    For all who say 'Bopara has given up IPL' you guys haven't understood the fact that Bopara went UNSOLD in the IPL auction!!!

  • rakeshkanuri on May 22, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    where is tim bresnan????

  • sportsismylife on May 22, 2011, 14:15 GMT

    I doubt if the selection meeting discussed even compared merits or demerits of Morgan / Bopara. This was one of those rare god-sent-opportunities where they could show flex their muscle over BCCI; by picking Morgan and thus limiting Kolkata Knight Rider's options for the crucial final stages of IPL.

  • Notredam on May 22, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    Irish morgan...next dockrell and then..more iirsh in Uk squad becoz of ICC

  • on May 22, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    Bopara's in bat for the Lions now, 15 not out with 186 needed. I hope he knocks them off himself and proves a point. Morgan, decent player but a complete mercenary. Not even English, couldn't care less about playing for his county, has one good knock and gets in against a guy who put his country first and scored runs to back himself up. Good one, selectors. A good job Sri Lanka haven't got any bowlers otherwise they might come to regret the decision.

  • mensan on May 22, 2011, 12:52 GMT

    I feel this is a great squad announced by England selectors. It's good that they have shown consistency. I think given a lively wicket, they will hammer SL.

  • BeCalmAndSupportEngland on May 22, 2011, 12:39 GMT

    morgan should play all 3 formats for england.I don't know bopara can bat or bowl.

  • kingofspain on May 22, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    Absolutely disgraceful decision. Bopara gives up thousands in IPL cash to play proper cricket while Morgan plays in the IPL and was ready to jump right back on a flight to India if he hadn't been picked. Plus, Bopara scored two hundreds in championship cricket.

  • on May 22, 2011, 12:20 GMT

    Morgan is a very, very good batsman, its always amazing to see this guy bat, Bopara I suppose is not that good, even though he can bowl but Morgan is pure class!

  • 5wombats on May 22, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    No, no - no surprises here. It WOULD have been a shock if Bopara had got the nod! Bopara will get his chance when KP gets dropped (or walks out)..... Sri Lanka are going to be sick of the sight of the England batsmen this Summer. Quite honestly I'd wonder if Morgan would get many chances to bat anyway.

  • stormy16 on May 22, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    No idea what the fuss about Bopara is. Morgan was given a chance last summer and did enough & thats why he went to Oz & nothing has happened to change that. Sure he played IPL but thats obviously not a crime! They were both given a chance and Morgan made the most of it while Bopara struggled and rightly got the spot. Also he is better suited to the #6 spot than Bopara I reckon.

  • on May 22, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    Ravi has bowled well in the recent times.. he should have been the perfect replacement for Collingwood...

  • Percy_Fender on May 22, 2011, 11:43 GMT

    A terrific squad indeed. The Englishmen should be quite a match for the Sri Lankans. Cardiff will probably be the leveller.

  • Stark62 on May 22, 2011, 11:39 GMT

    LOL

    1st guy: went off to play ipl and was abysmal but produces one fine innings.

    2nd guy: turns down ipl and scores big hundreds for his domestic team when, they needed it most.

    Hmm..........

  • Herath-UK on May 22, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    This is a knee jerk reaction from confused selectors for just one innings;he has wasted his time in IPL not yet ready when it comes to serious Test Stuff Ranil Herath Kent

  • RhinoxRevenge on May 22, 2011, 11:24 GMT

    they have a long batting line-up, till graeme swann! and the bowlers are in form so should be a piece of cake for them! @CricketingStargazer: broad is easily better than finn. he just needs to improve on those on those figures!

  • CricketingStargazer on May 22, 2011, 10:55 GMT

    Sidzy, I wonder if Broad will get the nod over Finn. It's far from certain that Broad is ready for a Test. He played last week and was struggling and expensive in his only First Class match before the Test (the end of my comment got cut off).

  • D.S.A on May 22, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    Continued...

    last innings. Conversely, you can put in hard work with bat and ball, play for your county rather than play for large amounts of money, and perform with good success, and still get no reward. It's idiotic thinking that will prevent England from being a great team. By the way, can someone remind me which part of Morgan is English? Is it his place of birth? Is it the country that he represented first internationally? Is it the accent? I'm "confused"...It must be so hard for English cricketers to accept that they are not just competing with players that have a true right to represent England, but also with anyone that can get their hands on a British passport.

    Hard to disagree with Arthaurian.

  • D.S.A on May 22, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    Typical selectors. If consistency was truly taking precedence by selectors, this wouldn't be an issue as the "obvious" choice, Morgan, would have been selected without surprises. However, the selectors have been saying that they had a tough decision to make, which doesn't make sense if they are so set on sticking with consistency. I find it so funny that had Morgan not hit 193, he wouldn't have been selected, but because of ONE innings, the short-termist thinking has in fact taken precedence, and it is being masqueraded as "consistency in selection". This is an absolute joke. The Ashes 09 was a long time ago, and if that is still being held against Bopara, then England would have major problems as most players in the team have failed throughout a series, regardless of how long it was, and even on multiple occasions, Bell and Cook for example. Bopara should have been selected, and an ugly precedent has been set, that you can disrespect County cricket as long as you get runs in your tbc.

  • R8omanch4 on May 22, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    I m sure dat Morgan will proov dis decision is ri8...

  • on May 22, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    Well deserved call up for Morgan, adds quality to England's middle order.

  • velvlol on May 22, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    Chris Woakes should be playing, the all rounder that England have been looking for !!!

  • on May 22, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    How many more failures does Pietersen need before they drop him. Of course, all his supporters will say that a big innings is just around the corner... but based on his current form... the road is a long straight one at the moment and the corner seems to be getting further away.

  • japper on May 22, 2011, 10:31 GMT

    A wonderful squad, quite unlike the windies team which keep selecting ordinary players even if class players are available at their disposal. Srilanka really have their task cut out. Go England go.

  • nlight on May 22, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    If anyone ever played one innings to boost their selection chances, then it was Morgan's 193. He's had a very good look at Sri Lanka's bowlers and it would have been perverse to prefer Bopara in these circumstances.

    Finn is a great prospect and must be nurtured and given more chances to play at the highest level. At the moment, I would just favour Broad due to his far superior batting ability; we should also get some more service out of Tremlett, but only in the longer form.

  • SDHM on May 22, 2011, 10:19 GMT

    @ Arthaurian - Bopara was never in the side to be dropped in the first place. It was Morgan's to lose if the selectors were being consistent.

  • SDHM on May 22, 2011, 10:13 GMT

    I actually think it would've been surprising if it hadn't have been Morgan - only Cricinfo seemed to be certain that it would be Bopara. Ravi's probably more technically correct than Morgan, but cricket is also a game of mental strength. Bopara has collapsed under the slightest pressure in his short test career so far, whilst Morgan has shown, during his first test 100 and his ODI career, that he can handle intense pressure and even thrive on it. Pietersen, Trott and even Bell can add extra bowling if it's needed. I feel a bit sorry for Shazhad, but I think Finn is in because they're still a bit worried about Broad's fitness. A bowling attack of Anderson, Tremlett, Swann and Shazhad looks a better mix to me, but Broad was bowling well in the Ashes before his injury and probably just about deserves to be in.

  • on May 22, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    Almost as if the ECB didn't want one of their prize players to vanish into the IPL..

  • on May 22, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    morgan is very consistent player at the moment.

  • pb10677 on May 22, 2011, 10:02 GMT

    Definitely the right decision. Morgan has done more than enough to cement a test place, and his record so far in his outings against Sri Lanka (ODIs as well as this tour match) are very good.

    Ravi Bopara, as good a player he is, unfortunately is going to be a bit of a Mark Ramprakash/Graeme Hick type player who can't deliver at the top level. He's done ok against weaker sides like the West Indies but he's been found out by better sides like Australia, and he was mentally shot after the 2009 Ashes.

    I know a lot of people argue he adds a bowling option, but he's never used anyway. And let's not forget his last test outing against Sri Lanka (Galle 2007) - a pair, and the second innings dismissal he was run out from first slip! I think it was the worst test match dismissal I have ever seen!

  • abdulqadeer.wi on May 22, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    With Collingwood retired and Bopara not making the cut Strauss will have to use Piterson/Trott more often. It is surprising to see captains of late not wanting to give their part timers more opportunities. Take Sachin for example who bowled much more at the start of his career. Also Sarwan, Chanderpaul, Gayle. Sometimes I think management misses a trick as these part timers can become even more useful to the setup. Just look at Watson and now M.Hafeez from Pakistan. On another note it's interesting that county followers have not called on Gemal Hussain for selction, at least for the England Lions. Finished top wicket taker last year and not started to badly this year. Is alsoo almost always amongst the wickets. Would be interesting to see if the ECB can coerce Ruel Brathwaqite to ply his trade for England. Definitely a talent.

  • on May 22, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    Selectors might have been thinking that he made 193 against srilanka in the practice match so why cant he do it again against the same bowling attack , LOl kids stuff.

  • Arthaurian on May 22, 2011, 9:54 GMT

    Bopara dropped for doing all the right things

  • on May 22, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    He deserves to be in Playing eleven !!

  • on May 22, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Yes, its Morgan over Bopara anyday. And Finn over Shehzad? Sad.

  • coolio78 on May 22, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Morgan is much better than Bopara, any day! His technique, footwork, temperament, consistency, etc way above Bopara. Plus he got o play the IPL and get selected in the test, talks about his importance to a side. KKR really gonna miss him during the playoff matches.

  • CricketingStargazer on May 22, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    Sidzy, I wonder if Broad will get the nod over Finn. It's far from certain.

  • on May 22, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    Looks a pretty balance side, batting order looks imposing.

  • Innocent_Abroad on May 22, 2011, 9:40 GMT

    A good selection. As to Broad's figures, remind me again what Flintoff's were when he was the age Broad is now. And there seems little point in having a Lions fixture against the tourists - replacing the long-ago MCC one, I suppose - if you don't use it as a Test trial. To have preferred Bopara to Morgan would have sent out the wrong signal about that match.

    My only concern is with the fifth bowling slot. Why is it that every other country can produce batsmen who can bowl, but England can't? Have we had one since Ted Dexter?

  • voma on May 22, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    I dont think this is much of a surprise , as far as i see its eoin morgans time to have a go at the number6 position .Judging by the way he played in the lions game , hes exactley what England need in the middle order .Struass , cook , trott and bell are all very similar players . So having someone unorthodox as morgan will add rapid runscoring aand damn right entertainment .Steve finn is a bowler who must be kept close to the squad , hes expensive at the moment . But the lad takes wickets , home and abroad . Sri Lanka be warned , next week you face the big boys !

  • Tigg on May 22, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    A bit harsh on Shahzad perhaps but we'll have to see which three seamers the selectors go for. I'd favour Finn over Broad but I expect it'll be the other way around.

    Well done to Morgan. If you score 193 against what is basically the Test side England will be facing this series how can you not be selected?

  • on May 22, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    good team selection...... morgan is very consistent player at the moment.

  • sidzy on May 22, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    Play finn ahead of broad. For the 1st time good decision by english selectors to have morgan in.

  • kevinpp on May 22, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    Yes its a couple of surprise decisions but to be fair they have selected their last time winning combination.So its good that they dint spoil their confidence. If they dint do well here then drop them. May be Bopara had a better case by playing championship matches but the thing is ECB allowed Morgan to play IPL. So problem solved. I dont think team was selected based on warm-up match.

  • yorkslanka on May 22, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    this is the correct decision for me, morgan couldn't possibly do any more than he has done and its performaces that matter not trying to get on the good side of selectors by turning down the ipl...this international XI - oops I mean England XI looks strong and well balanced...

  • on May 22, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    Might be a punt .. but a good one! International cricket is a step-up, but someone in good nick offers a better option ..

  • on May 22, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    I was right about morgans selection, everyone claimed bopara was favourite but no one officially said he was the frontrunner. I was also right that the selectors don't care that morgan went to IPL, they are more mature then that and realise that the better player is the man to get the nod, not the one who made his own mind up to skip IPl to play county. I hope morgan can knock up a few double hundreds and be a long term player for england. Also Finn may yet pip tremlett for starting XI.

  • abhi_cricinfo on May 22, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    Honestly speaking , Ravi Bopara is technically better than Morgan and more reliable. Poor Bopara opted to play English Domestic Cricket instead of IPL and gained nothing. On other hand Morgan played IPL and gained no.6 Spot in Test.

  • Hariafromhyd on May 22, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    And if anybody has theories similar to the ones being proposed that Morgan has not played 1st class cricket, well natural talent is natural talent and one will not acquire it 'because' well a person is playing 1st class cricket in England instead of the IPL. A good player is a good player !!!! period !!!!!Some people are naturally talented and cricket is a skill game, accept it...

  • on May 22, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    Typo: Andrew Strayss!

  • CricketingStargazer on May 22, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    Interesting choices. Many people will be pleased. Morgan, the reserve for the last 12 months, gets the vote after his stunning innings. Finn, the bowler who has plenty of experience gets the reserve slot ahead of a bowler (Shazad) who has only played one Test, possibly because of the doubts about Broad's form and fitness. The selectors have picked a side to come out and hit Sri Lanka hard in the first game. Morgan is a little lucky because his Test reputation is based on a single innings in his first Test: he will need to add at least a couple of 50s to that against Sri Lanka if Ravi Bopara continues to score runs and take wickets.

  • Hariafromhyd on May 22, 2011, 8:43 GMT

    A lot of chat around Bopara over Morgan was based on scorn for the IPL and what it represents.Today when the selectors picked Morgan, it did prove that sane heads prevailed. Morgan is a class act, he is if SRT says so :-0. I am happy that the English selectors picked this side on merit and picked the best 11 irrespective of how they want to make a living. It seems like in a capitalistic world specially in the world of sport where footballers, basketball players, golfers, baseball players,tennis players...make a good living, it is taboo for a cricketer to do so....hail morgan, wishing that you do well,always the buccaneer !!!!!!

  • on May 22, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    i am very happy for Morgan , as he is completing his fream to play test Cricket

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  • on May 22, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    i am very happy for Morgan , as he is completing his fream to play test Cricket

  • Hariafromhyd on May 22, 2011, 8:43 GMT

    A lot of chat around Bopara over Morgan was based on scorn for the IPL and what it represents.Today when the selectors picked Morgan, it did prove that sane heads prevailed. Morgan is a class act, he is if SRT says so :-0. I am happy that the English selectors picked this side on merit and picked the best 11 irrespective of how they want to make a living. It seems like in a capitalistic world specially in the world of sport where footballers, basketball players, golfers, baseball players,tennis players...make a good living, it is taboo for a cricketer to do so....hail morgan, wishing that you do well,always the buccaneer !!!!!!

  • CricketingStargazer on May 22, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    Interesting choices. Many people will be pleased. Morgan, the reserve for the last 12 months, gets the vote after his stunning innings. Finn, the bowler who has plenty of experience gets the reserve slot ahead of a bowler (Shazad) who has only played one Test, possibly because of the doubts about Broad's form and fitness. The selectors have picked a side to come out and hit Sri Lanka hard in the first game. Morgan is a little lucky because his Test reputation is based on a single innings in his first Test: he will need to add at least a couple of 50s to that against Sri Lanka if Ravi Bopara continues to score runs and take wickets.

  • on May 22, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    Typo: Andrew Strayss!

  • Hariafromhyd on May 22, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    And if anybody has theories similar to the ones being proposed that Morgan has not played 1st class cricket, well natural talent is natural talent and one will not acquire it 'because' well a person is playing 1st class cricket in England instead of the IPL. A good player is a good player !!!! period !!!!!Some people are naturally talented and cricket is a skill game, accept it...

  • abhi_cricinfo on May 22, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    Honestly speaking , Ravi Bopara is technically better than Morgan and more reliable. Poor Bopara opted to play English Domestic Cricket instead of IPL and gained nothing. On other hand Morgan played IPL and gained no.6 Spot in Test.

  • on May 22, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    I was right about morgans selection, everyone claimed bopara was favourite but no one officially said he was the frontrunner. I was also right that the selectors don't care that morgan went to IPL, they are more mature then that and realise that the better player is the man to get the nod, not the one who made his own mind up to skip IPl to play county. I hope morgan can knock up a few double hundreds and be a long term player for england. Also Finn may yet pip tremlett for starting XI.

  • on May 22, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    Might be a punt .. but a good one! International cricket is a step-up, but someone in good nick offers a better option ..

  • yorkslanka on May 22, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    this is the correct decision for me, morgan couldn't possibly do any more than he has done and its performaces that matter not trying to get on the good side of selectors by turning down the ipl...this international XI - oops I mean England XI looks strong and well balanced...

  • kevinpp on May 22, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    Yes its a couple of surprise decisions but to be fair they have selected their last time winning combination.So its good that they dint spoil their confidence. If they dint do well here then drop them. May be Bopara had a better case by playing championship matches but the thing is ECB allowed Morgan to play IPL. So problem solved. I dont think team was selected based on warm-up match.