England news November 30, 2011

Morgan itching to return from injury

  shares 34

Eoin Morgan's rehabilitation from shoulder surgery will begin in earnest this week when he heads for India to take part in a nine-day batting camp with the England performance programme. The trip, which will be overseen by the ECB's lead batting coach, Graham Thorpe, will also involve the Test captain Andrew Strauss and wicketkeeper Matt Prior, neither of whom took part in the 5-0 ODI series defeat in India last month.

Morgan would have been involved in that campaign had it not been for the need to undergo surgery in September, after he was diagnosed with a chronic SLAP lesion in his right shoulder. He missed ten consecutive ODIs against India - five at home, five away - as well as a trio of Twenty20s against West Indies and India that he might well have captained in the absence of Stuart Broad. Now, however, he is itching to get back involved with the England set-up, as they step up their preparations ahead of the Test series against Pakistan in the UAE in January.

"The shoulder's good, and I've been back training about three weeks now with Middlesex," Morgan told ESPNcricinfo's Switch Hit podcast. "I've been doing my rehab work with it, so I'm hoping to be fit in three or four weeks' time, which then allows us a three-week cushion over Christmas and New Year ahead of the Pakistan series. I've been out for nearly three months, so I've got that cricket bug back now."

Morgan expects to be fit enough to play a full part in the training camp, which is set to concentrate largely on improving England's footwork against spin bowling. Among the ideas that Thorpe intends to put into practice will be batting without pads and using reduced-width bats, so that the onus is on putting bat to ball with decisive movements around the crease, a factor that was visibly lacking during some ponderous performances in the recent whitewash.

"Thorpey always has new and inventive things to work on," said Morgan. "I did a bit of work with him with the Lions last year, and as a left-handed batter in the middle order, I can really relate to him, and enjoy working with him. He has a hell of a lot of experience I can pick on, and that's very valuable."

Morgan himself is one of the few England batsmen whose footwork against spin is rarely called into question, and his absence in the middle-order was cited as a major reason for the team's meltdown during that series.

"I certainly don't think I leave that big a hole in the side, but it's nice to be missed at certain stages," he said. "We were really tested while we were away, and from the outside looking in I felt we lacked a bit of composure and experience at certain times during the innings, and throughout the games. But we've got a young side looking to build on a successful summer, and one series defeat isn't going to peg us back too far, I don't think.

"When you're doing badly you can take any part of your game and over-analysis it," he added. "The important part [in India] was that we didn't get enough runs, and didn't bowl well in certain parts. So it's a broader range of cricket that we'll be looking to develop on this trip. And for myself, having been out of cricket for a while, it's all about hitting volumes of balls. I'm really looking forward to it."

While England as a team was frustrated to lose in India, Morgan conceded that the setback did not resonate quite so much with their own fans as a Test series defeat would have done. "There's a mentality in the public that a lot of our success is viewed if we do well in Test cricket, and that's fair enough because it's the pinnacle for us," he said. "But we play a World Cup every four years and we have aspirations to win that. And that means prioritising one-day cricket as we have done with Tests over the years. In both formats, we're striving to be No. 1 in the world."

Morgan's team-mate, Graeme Swann, isn't so sold on 50-over cricket, having recently called for its abolition, while he also told ESPNcricinfo that he learnt next to nothing from his recent series in India that he would be carrying over into England's subcontinental Test series in the coming 12-18 months.

Morgan, however, didn't quite see the two formats in such black and white terms. "You gain confidence from spending time at the crease in Tests, whereas in one-day cricket you need to have all these shots, and be quite decisive in playing off the front foot or going all the way back," he said. "But you can use some of that in Test cricket so it's important to take on board all the lessons learnt, especially when you've been beaten quite convincingly.

"A lot of the guys out in Australia who had played in the previous Ashes when we got drubbed [in 2006-07] said it had been quite demoralising, but they learnt a hell of a lot. So they took on board what a better team had to offer, and used it to their advantage.

"The crucial part of my game that I take into the Test match arena is the positive way that I go about playing," he added. "I find it kickstarts me, and makes me think in a different way as opposed to batting time, and playing with a positive frame of mind can be very valuable."

Whereas he is established as one of England's most important limited-overs players, Morgan is still - by his own admission - finding his feet at Test level. However, he believes he is in the best possible company to hone his allround game, as he looks to the likes of Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell, whose appetites for runs have helped to carry England to the No. 1 ranking.

"I feel as if I'm always learning in Test cricket, but I feel as if the guys I'm playing with are the best in the world," he said. "I am learning from all these guys who are having a hell of a time, and that can only help me develop."

Eoin Morgan endorses Slazenger V Series equipment. For more information, visit www.slazenger.com/cricket

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JG2704 on December 2, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    Posted by Shan156 on (December 01 2011, 20:37 PM GMT) - You're not wrong my friend

  • YorkshirePudding on December 2, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, true about the bowlers/batsmen, but the camp will be altitude so it may be better for them, dont forget Jo'bug is about 5000ft above sea level, higher than Ben Nevis and the climate average is mid 30's celcius during Dec. so you could say its an aclimisation camp.

  • on December 2, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    @Prinzzzz: Well then on that premise Pakistan is already better than India. I presume 3-1 is better than 4-0.

  • anver777 on December 2, 2011, 4:57 GMT

    Eng needs to stabilize the middle order in coming matches,specially in ODIs........ after their recent poor effort against Ind, obviously they need someone like Morgan for a strong finish.... welcome back !!!!!!

  • jmcilhinney on December 2, 2011, 3:14 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding, I think that that may be an added bonus but, while I could be wrong, I don't think that it's a reason. Notice that the only established players going on the EPP camps are those who have been out of the team for a while, most due to injuries. Also, there are established bowlers going on the EPP camp and that is in SA, so no help at all in acclimatising to conditions for the upcoming winter.

  • 5wombats on December 1, 2011, 23:22 GMT

    @RandyOZ - hear that BANG? That was the sound of your credibility.

  • Shan156 on December 1, 2011, 23:17 GMT

    @RandyOZ, If you are talking ODIs, you are giving us more credit than you think. If you are referring to tests, we are all dying to know who the top 3 teams in the world are. And, what was that comment on Anderson about? I really don't get it. Please enlighten us with your infinite wisdom.

    England slammed you 3-1 down under. Please wait for your next thrashing till summer of 2013 (and, please do bring that Ricky Ponting with you to England - our bowlers would really relish that free wicket:-), no wait, they are all free wickets:-))

  • RandyOZ on December 1, 2011, 22:18 GMT

    England are at best 4th in the world, and Anderson is not even in their best United XI

  • Shan156 on December 1, 2011, 20:46 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, good post. Actually, Pakistan's bowling attack is way superior to India's pop-gun attack. Their batting is light years behind India's though.

  • Shan156 on December 1, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    @nlight, are you talking about tests or ODIs? If it is ODIs, Swann is rated the #3 bowler in the world right now and that was due to his poor show in India - before that, he was rated the #1 bowler. Ojha doesn't play ODIs so I presume you mean tests - Ashwin has played 3 tests in India against sub-standard opposition. He needs to prove himself in various conditions against stronger opposition before you can trumpet him as the best thing since sliced bread. Ojha? Are you having a laugh? One good series against West Indies at home and suddenly he is among the best? Check out his bowling average (despite bowling mostly at home) and you will realize that he is mediocre (if you take away those blinkers, that is). Ajmal is quality but I don't know how he can be so much better than Swann. He has played only 15 tests and has a bowling average higher than Swann. No one here claims Swann is a Warne or Murali but he is the best spinner in the world at the moment.

  • JG2704 on December 2, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    Posted by Shan156 on (December 01 2011, 20:37 PM GMT) - You're not wrong my friend

  • YorkshirePudding on December 2, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, true about the bowlers/batsmen, but the camp will be altitude so it may be better for them, dont forget Jo'bug is about 5000ft above sea level, higher than Ben Nevis and the climate average is mid 30's celcius during Dec. so you could say its an aclimisation camp.

  • on December 2, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    @Prinzzzz: Well then on that premise Pakistan is already better than India. I presume 3-1 is better than 4-0.

  • anver777 on December 2, 2011, 4:57 GMT

    Eng needs to stabilize the middle order in coming matches,specially in ODIs........ after their recent poor effort against Ind, obviously they need someone like Morgan for a strong finish.... welcome back !!!!!!

  • jmcilhinney on December 2, 2011, 3:14 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding, I think that that may be an added bonus but, while I could be wrong, I don't think that it's a reason. Notice that the only established players going on the EPP camps are those who have been out of the team for a while, most due to injuries. Also, there are established bowlers going on the EPP camp and that is in SA, so no help at all in acclimatising to conditions for the upcoming winter.

  • 5wombats on December 1, 2011, 23:22 GMT

    @RandyOZ - hear that BANG? That was the sound of your credibility.

  • Shan156 on December 1, 2011, 23:17 GMT

    @RandyOZ, If you are talking ODIs, you are giving us more credit than you think. If you are referring to tests, we are all dying to know who the top 3 teams in the world are. And, what was that comment on Anderson about? I really don't get it. Please enlighten us with your infinite wisdom.

    England slammed you 3-1 down under. Please wait for your next thrashing till summer of 2013 (and, please do bring that Ricky Ponting with you to England - our bowlers would really relish that free wicket:-), no wait, they are all free wickets:-))

  • RandyOZ on December 1, 2011, 22:18 GMT

    England are at best 4th in the world, and Anderson is not even in their best United XI

  • Shan156 on December 1, 2011, 20:46 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, good post. Actually, Pakistan's bowling attack is way superior to India's pop-gun attack. Their batting is light years behind India's though.

  • Shan156 on December 1, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    @nlight, are you talking about tests or ODIs? If it is ODIs, Swann is rated the #3 bowler in the world right now and that was due to his poor show in India - before that, he was rated the #1 bowler. Ojha doesn't play ODIs so I presume you mean tests - Ashwin has played 3 tests in India against sub-standard opposition. He needs to prove himself in various conditions against stronger opposition before you can trumpet him as the best thing since sliced bread. Ojha? Are you having a laugh? One good series against West Indies at home and suddenly he is among the best? Check out his bowling average (despite bowling mostly at home) and you will realize that he is mediocre (if you take away those blinkers, that is). Ajmal is quality but I don't know how he can be so much better than Swann. He has played only 15 tests and has a bowling average higher than Swann. No one here claims Swann is a Warne or Murali but he is the best spinner in the world at the moment.

  • Shan156 on December 1, 2011, 20:37 GMT

    @JG2704, you may bet your bottom dollar that England will get no credit if they emerge victorious in the sub-continent. You will hear the usual excuses - luck, key players missing, Saffa players, cheating, among others. I think you should come to terms with the fact that England can never be good enough:-)

  • on December 1, 2011, 19:40 GMT

    @Prinzzzz: Well then on that premise Pakistan is already better than India. I presume 3-1 is better than 4-0.

  • on December 1, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    @nlight "we don't have any spinners of the quality of Ashwin, Ojha, Ajmal, Afridi to name but a few" Well as ever with England it depends what format you are talking about. In ODIs guilty as charged, but in tests who was the last spinner to cause England any real problems? Seriously name them. Fact is that since Murili and Warne retired there aren't any great spinners about, Swanns merely the best of a bad bunch. Say what you like about him but he's still taken 153 wickets @28, that's not bad, and is better than any of the other spinners you list.

  • JG2704 on December 1, 2011, 15:17 GMT

    @satish619chandar - Of course England are going to prepare tracks suited to their bowlers just like India will prepare tracks suited to their bowlers. Subcontinental teams will all prepare tracks which are heavily going to favour their own teams. That's always been the case and always will be the case. I do find it amusing that when India lose in England it's the fault of English conditions and unfair but when England fail in India it's because they can't play away from home. We'll see what happens in Pakistan and Sri Lanka and if England come unstuck then I'll be big enough to admit that we've not improved in the subcontinent - not that our test record in the subcontinent is as bad as most make out as I've already posted on a previous thread - . I wonder if England will receive any credit if they come away from those tours with winning records

  • YorkshirePudding on December 1, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, I also thing the reason some of the England payers are going to the EPP is to get a feel for the conditions ahead of next year, theres also the other added bonus of them mixing with the next generation, and seeing first hand if theres any talent that could be in on the verge of the england set up, as most of the Centrally contracted players dont play in the counties so dont get a sense of which young players are about and thier abilities.

  • Prinzzzz on December 1, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    @jmcilhinney: ur statmt "Pakistan beat England and England beat India then does that not suggest that Pakistan are better than India?" wil b true if pak beat england in england but not in dubai r sharja

  • nlight on December 1, 2011, 10:55 GMT

    England are hopeless against spin and I'm pleased to see that they are doing something to address the problem.

    Part of the reason they're so bad is because we don't have any spinners of the quality of Ashwin, Ojha, Ajmal, Afridi to name but a few. Swann should stop believing the hype; his recent attitude sucks and he was a passenger during the ignominious showing in India.

    Good comments jmcilhinney.

  • jmcilhinney on December 1, 2011, 10:19 GMT

    @IndiaNumeroUno, interesting that your name says one thing but your post says that India are at best numero tres. If Pakistan beat England and England beat India then does that not suggest that Pakistan are better than India? I'm sure you have some unimpeachable logic to prove otherwise.

  • on December 1, 2011, 8:13 GMT

    Was he playing for Ireland during his break ??

  • IndiaNumeroUno on December 1, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    can't wait for Pakistan to destroy England in the test matches... come on Pakistan!!

  • satish619chandar on December 1, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    Cool.. Morgan is primarily a limited overs batsman but he is the one who is the best player in current England team to play spin well.. He is a MUST in the English test team to subcontinent.. I seriously wish the subcontinent teams prepare good turners as they all(India,Pak and SL) got terribly green tracks in overcast conditions when they toured England and lost only because the conditions were tailor made for their strength.. Home advantage or sportive tracks should not be a term usable for fast tracks alone.. Lets challenge them with our conditions and if they manage to win, let them be the topmost team!!

  • jmcilhinney on December 1, 2011, 4:47 GMT

    @RandyOz, let's not forget that, while they may have natural talent, pretty much all the good Irish players are only as good as they are because of English county cricket. It is kinda funny that, without the help of the English domestic competition, Ireland would not have been capable of beating England in the WC. Not that they should have anyway; that was a poor showing by England. It is playing against quality opposition day in and day out in England that got them to where they are now though. Without that, maybe Ireland would have created their own first class competition by now but I doubt it. Even if they had, it wouldn't be of the same quality so the players wouldn't develop to the extent that they have. As for reserves, the batting certainly isn't as well-stocked as the bowling but there are quality batsmen coming through too, James Taylor probably one of the most likely to enter the test squad in the not too distant future.

  • jmcilhinney on December 1, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    Some Indians seem a bit confused. When India toured England, it was their choice to have that number of practice games, not England's. As for this EPP camp, it's nothing to do with the BCCI. The BCCI could just the same arrange for a bunch of its developing players to go on a camp in England or any other country. It would be no business of the ECB. Panesar bowling to Tendulkar is a completely different scenario. Monty is on the verge of England selection. If Swann was out then Panesar would likely be first choice for a test spinner. To have a likely England player giving the opposition net practice is what was the issue. On this EPP camp, there will be no likely India players giving the Englishmen net practice, nor would England ask for any. By the way, this is NOT an England warm-up for the coming winter tours. This is an EPP camp, for emerging players. The current players are only involved because they have been out of cricket for a while, due to injury or whatever.

  • on November 30, 2011, 20:18 GMT

    Kavindeven: India is a free country nobody can stop the English players coming over and enjoying our hospitality. Tendulkar lives in St Johns Wood and Lords lets him use the practice facilities when ever he wishes. At the same time nobody stopped other Indian players coming over and getting used to English conditions in advance. The problem is the BCCI with their packed schedules and the IPL is burning out the Indian cricket team. After the England experience at least the board has embarked on a rotation policy. You will see the dividends next year when England come over. No matter how much Swan Anderson and co practice in Indian conditions there is only going to be one result an Indian win.

  • hhillbumper on November 30, 2011, 20:06 GMT

    RandyOZ. We could quite easily take a team of Englishmen if you so want and kick yours around once more.Seem to remember that the heaviest scoring batsman is English and all our bowlers are. I agree that Morgan should not be in the team for three reasons.We have better batsman,If we want to be nationalistic then we should pick English and third he has such a dodgy technique he could pass for an Aussie Batsman.

  • dicky_boy on November 30, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    Well said at least you accept that the world cup is there to be won , so it is the best format and the format through which players are earning their salary

  • JG2704 on November 30, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    It's quite strange that Morgan is possibly the first name I'd have down for the ODI's/T20s but the last name I'd have for the tests. As I have always said , it's nothing against Morgan , just that I'd like to see 5 bowlers and 5 batsmen because I also feel that Prior is good enough to be in as a bastsman even if he wasn't wk so that kind of makes it 6 batsmen anyway. I feel it is hard to leave out any of our other batsmen for him. We have severely missed him in the one dayers and I feel he should be made captain of both the OD side and the T20s - no disrespect to Cook or Broad , but I'm not sure Cook should be nailed on to play ODcricket and I'm not sure Broad is right for captaincy

  • vishwanath.sreeraman on November 30, 2011, 16:39 GMT

    why are we extending the red carpet to the englishmen, after andy flower openly criticized monty panesar for bowling at the nets to tendulkar; (he was pissed off that england was providing such good net practice to the indians)

  • Romenevans on November 30, 2011, 16:25 GMT

    When India went to England they didn't allow them more than 2 practice games, then why Indian authorities allowing these English players to get used to of sub-continent conditions? I don't get this at all.

  • on November 30, 2011, 14:29 GMT

    Morgan is Irish what pride does he get from representing a country he cannot call his own? Does he think Ireland is still a British colony or is it just the money that motivates him? Unfortunately we cannot fit him into the Indian side we are better paymasters.

  • bigwonder on November 30, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    Whats the camp about in India? Is ECB fearing that England will have to face test series white-wash in India next year, thus sending in players early to get more practice? or is this because of Graeme Swann's revelation that he did not learn anything from his recent ODI series in India? Its amazing the way England players behave, they call anything bad that they are not good at playing then eventually somehow find a way to blame it on BCCI, be it One day match or UDRS.

  • RandyOZ on November 30, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    Well done Ireland in getting another Irishman into the United XI, not that it's very hard considering their paper thin reserves.

  • landl47 on November 30, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    Morgan is a key part of England's ODI line-up wherever the game is played. I'm not as sold on him in tests, but if there's anywhere that he should be an integral part of the side, it's in the subcontinent. With series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka coming up, now is his chance to shine.

  • on November 30, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    would love to see him back in the action as soon as possible.will be exciting to watch him sweeping the ball once again

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on November 30, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    would love to see him back in the action as soon as possible.will be exciting to watch him sweeping the ball once again

  • landl47 on November 30, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    Morgan is a key part of England's ODI line-up wherever the game is played. I'm not as sold on him in tests, but if there's anywhere that he should be an integral part of the side, it's in the subcontinent. With series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka coming up, now is his chance to shine.

  • RandyOZ on November 30, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    Well done Ireland in getting another Irishman into the United XI, not that it's very hard considering their paper thin reserves.

  • bigwonder on November 30, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    Whats the camp about in India? Is ECB fearing that England will have to face test series white-wash in India next year, thus sending in players early to get more practice? or is this because of Graeme Swann's revelation that he did not learn anything from his recent ODI series in India? Its amazing the way England players behave, they call anything bad that they are not good at playing then eventually somehow find a way to blame it on BCCI, be it One day match or UDRS.

  • on November 30, 2011, 14:29 GMT

    Morgan is Irish what pride does he get from representing a country he cannot call his own? Does he think Ireland is still a British colony or is it just the money that motivates him? Unfortunately we cannot fit him into the Indian side we are better paymasters.

  • Romenevans on November 30, 2011, 16:25 GMT

    When India went to England they didn't allow them more than 2 practice games, then why Indian authorities allowing these English players to get used to of sub-continent conditions? I don't get this at all.

  • vishwanath.sreeraman on November 30, 2011, 16:39 GMT

    why are we extending the red carpet to the englishmen, after andy flower openly criticized monty panesar for bowling at the nets to tendulkar; (he was pissed off that england was providing such good net practice to the indians)

  • JG2704 on November 30, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    It's quite strange that Morgan is possibly the first name I'd have down for the ODI's/T20s but the last name I'd have for the tests. As I have always said , it's nothing against Morgan , just that I'd like to see 5 bowlers and 5 batsmen because I also feel that Prior is good enough to be in as a bastsman even if he wasn't wk so that kind of makes it 6 batsmen anyway. I feel it is hard to leave out any of our other batsmen for him. We have severely missed him in the one dayers and I feel he should be made captain of both the OD side and the T20s - no disrespect to Cook or Broad , but I'm not sure Cook should be nailed on to play ODcricket and I'm not sure Broad is right for captaincy

  • dicky_boy on November 30, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    Well said at least you accept that the world cup is there to be won , so it is the best format and the format through which players are earning their salary

  • hhillbumper on November 30, 2011, 20:06 GMT

    RandyOZ. We could quite easily take a team of Englishmen if you so want and kick yours around once more.Seem to remember that the heaviest scoring batsman is English and all our bowlers are. I agree that Morgan should not be in the team for three reasons.We have better batsman,If we want to be nationalistic then we should pick English and third he has such a dodgy technique he could pass for an Aussie Batsman.