England news July 27, 2012

Morgan to captain England Lions against Australia

  shares 27

Eoin Morgan will captain England Lions in their two-match series against Australia A next month. The 13-man squad for the four-day matches at Old Trafford and Edgbaston includes three others with Test experience while every player has previously represented the Lions.

Morgan, Samit Patel, Jonny Bairstow and James Tredwell have Test caps to their name, while Craig Kieswetter, Stuart Meaker, James Taylor and Chris Woakes have also played one-day internationals.

The inclusion of cricketers who already play regular international cricket - such as Morgan, Kieswetter and Patel - shows how seriously the selectors are taking the matches ahead of the back-to-back Ashes series next year rather than using it as a chance to purely blood youth.

However, they stopped short of naming any of the current Test reserves such as Graham Onions or Steven Finn who are both in the mix to face South Africa at Headingley. The Australia A squad, which is led by Ed Cowan contains considerable experience, most notably Mitchell Johnson.

For Morgan the series is a chance to restate his Test credentials after his poor series against Pakistan earlier this year which led to him being dropped for the following tour of Sri Lanka. Since then Patel, Bairstow and now Ravi Bopara have been given middle-order roles in the Test team. However, Morgan showed impressive form in the recent one-day series against Australia including a match-winning, unbeaten 89 at Lord's.

With Bopara making an uncertain return to the Test side against South Africa and Bairstow struggling against West Indies earlier this season the No. 6 spot is yet to be cemented and a strong finish to the summer - with the Lions and Middlesex - will put Morgan back in contention.

Elsewhere the squad is a mixture of experienced county cricketers - Patel, Tredwell and the leading run-scorer of the season Nick Compton - plus young players who have already been integrated into the England set up. Taylor and Joe Root, who recently scored a double hundred in the Championship, are among the next generation of batsmen vying for an opportunity while Stuart Meaker is one of the quickest bowlers in the country.

Tredwell is accompanied in the spin department by Lancashire's Simon Kerrigan who was part of the squad to face the West Indians earlier this season but did not make the final XI at Wantage Road. From the team that won that match by 10 wickets, Michael Carberry (injury), Jack Brooks and Jade Dernbach are not in this squad along with Ian Bell who used that game as Test preparation.

Although the selectors see these two matches as crucial to the development of Test players they are likely to create further tensions with counties who will lose key names for Championship matches as the competiton enters its final third.

Squad
Jonny Bairstow, Matt Coles, Nick Compton, James Harris, Simon Kerrigan, Craig Kieswetter, Stuart Meaker, Eoin Morgan (capt), Samit Patel, Joe Root, James Taylor, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes

Fixtures
August 7, Old Trafford
August 14, Edgbaston

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 30, 2012, 2:21 GMT

    @JG2704 - re: Woakes, they should probably tell the selectors that Woakes is a batsmen who soesn't mind trundling in for an over or two! @yorkshirematt - what you say has merit, although I wouldn't want the tour to end up being 2nd string county sides.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | July 29, 2012, 20:04 GMT

    @Meety on (July 29 2012, 11:06 AM GMT) I hear what you're saying. I just wonder if number 6 (if we must persist) is a position where we could do with having a guy who can shepherd the tail etc and I'm not sure if Bell is up to that. Even vs SL and in the last test vs SA he didn't see it through. One poster criticised Bell for slow scoring rate which I thought was harsh but he rarely seems to see the job through. We do possibly need someone who will move the game forward now we are down but as you know I'd try to do it by adding an extra bowler. Woakes might be a good compromise as he is averaging 80 with the bat this year even though he is mainly a bowler. Broad is probably my favourite player but if they dropped him and brought in Finn and Woakes I'd still see it as a positive move and would not lambast the selectors as much as if they just dropped Broad or Bres for Finn. Maybe someone should tell the selectors that Woakes is just a batsman and he might get in

  • POSTED BY yorkshirematt on | July 29, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    @Meety Yes I understand. I think a better option would be to play county sides like this Aus A match against Derbyshire. That's a discussion for another day perhaps

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 29, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    @JG2704 - assuming that the powers that be in England cricket hold that a 6/1/4 is Plan A & B - & anything else is a last reort, AND assuming that Bopara is not up to the job (assumptions) AND assuming Compton is the next cab off the rank for a top 6 spot. I wonder if it would be better to give him a spot at say #4? Reasons being unlike Taylor or Bairstow, he is a fairly experienced FC campaigner & probably doesn't need to serve an apprenticeship behind the top order & could be another ready made top order test batsmen (ala Trott). Batting him out of position maybe just passing on the "poisoned chalice" to another "newbie". Why not move Bell to #6 - he averages 60 from 20 odd tests there? Compton is a top order batsmen & #4 is not too big a change form #3! So your assumption regarding "...they want a number 6 who is a bit more free scoring..." - Bell's S/R is 57 @ #6 which is his best S/r in any position in Tests!

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 29, 2012, 10:57 GMT

    @@yorkshirematt - I wasn't knocking your reasoning (preserving the integrity of the County season) I understood it. The main thing is, sooner or later you have to have other countries touring with development squads in your season, as you can't really play cricket in winter IN England!

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | July 29, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    @Honeymonster - Yeah , it's not great the timing clashing with the Notts game. We were unlucky with the weather last time vs Notts in a game we dominated with an under strength side. Re Compton , I think he could do a job at 6 for England as he has that temperament where he could steady an inns as he has done with regularity but I reckon they want a number 6 who is a bit more free scoring which is all very well but they are losing any stability by doing this.

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | July 28, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    RodStark - probably exactly why he wasn't picked. He's definitely the back-up, they're looking at future options.

  • POSTED BY yorkshirematt on | July 28, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    @meety My point is that, while JB may come back for next year's Ashes given that no one seems to be able to keep hold of the no.6 slot, Root will certainly not be playing as he is a good few years away from possibly opening for England. It would be more beneficial to him and Yorkshire to play the rest of the season with us. It probably is more important for you lot though as the Aus A side seems to have quite a few test players in it and it makes sense for them to get experience of playing over here.

  • POSTED BY RodStark on | July 27, 2012, 23:23 GMT

    Interesting that Davies is not picked as wk. I thought he was Prior's test back-up.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 27, 2012, 22:08 GMT

    @yorkshirematt - as incumbent title holders of the Ashes - you may think you don't need the prep - we sure appreciate it!! @landl47 - I agree, A year ago I would of said Rikki who? (Actually seen his name plenty of times). He is having a good summer, & it is probably a blip, but then again he may just of mastered his domain? Either way, I was just thinking he maybe a good short term fox for the most obvious issue in the England line up.@yorkshire-86 - do think Tredwell is more of a short form option for England. @TheHoneymonster - I agree with what you said re: Woakes. In THEORY, IF FC stats are anything to go by, Woakes is a genuine #7, who SHOULD take wickets at test level, although that would mean Patel @#6 (I think), & the keeper in the top 5, which is an"odd" balance, (despite both potential keepers being good batsmen). == == == Looking fwd to this match up! Bring it on!

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 30, 2012, 2:21 GMT

    @JG2704 - re: Woakes, they should probably tell the selectors that Woakes is a batsmen who soesn't mind trundling in for an over or two! @yorkshirematt - what you say has merit, although I wouldn't want the tour to end up being 2nd string county sides.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | July 29, 2012, 20:04 GMT

    @Meety on (July 29 2012, 11:06 AM GMT) I hear what you're saying. I just wonder if number 6 (if we must persist) is a position where we could do with having a guy who can shepherd the tail etc and I'm not sure if Bell is up to that. Even vs SL and in the last test vs SA he didn't see it through. One poster criticised Bell for slow scoring rate which I thought was harsh but he rarely seems to see the job through. We do possibly need someone who will move the game forward now we are down but as you know I'd try to do it by adding an extra bowler. Woakes might be a good compromise as he is averaging 80 with the bat this year even though he is mainly a bowler. Broad is probably my favourite player but if they dropped him and brought in Finn and Woakes I'd still see it as a positive move and would not lambast the selectors as much as if they just dropped Broad or Bres for Finn. Maybe someone should tell the selectors that Woakes is just a batsman and he might get in

  • POSTED BY yorkshirematt on | July 29, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    @Meety Yes I understand. I think a better option would be to play county sides like this Aus A match against Derbyshire. That's a discussion for another day perhaps

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 29, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    @JG2704 - assuming that the powers that be in England cricket hold that a 6/1/4 is Plan A & B - & anything else is a last reort, AND assuming that Bopara is not up to the job (assumptions) AND assuming Compton is the next cab off the rank for a top 6 spot. I wonder if it would be better to give him a spot at say #4? Reasons being unlike Taylor or Bairstow, he is a fairly experienced FC campaigner & probably doesn't need to serve an apprenticeship behind the top order & could be another ready made top order test batsmen (ala Trott). Batting him out of position maybe just passing on the "poisoned chalice" to another "newbie". Why not move Bell to #6 - he averages 60 from 20 odd tests there? Compton is a top order batsmen & #4 is not too big a change form #3! So your assumption regarding "...they want a number 6 who is a bit more free scoring..." - Bell's S/R is 57 @ #6 which is his best S/r in any position in Tests!

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 29, 2012, 10:57 GMT

    @@yorkshirematt - I wasn't knocking your reasoning (preserving the integrity of the County season) I understood it. The main thing is, sooner or later you have to have other countries touring with development squads in your season, as you can't really play cricket in winter IN England!

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | July 29, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    @Honeymonster - Yeah , it's not great the timing clashing with the Notts game. We were unlucky with the weather last time vs Notts in a game we dominated with an under strength side. Re Compton , I think he could do a job at 6 for England as he has that temperament where he could steady an inns as he has done with regularity but I reckon they want a number 6 who is a bit more free scoring which is all very well but they are losing any stability by doing this.

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | July 28, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    RodStark - probably exactly why he wasn't picked. He's definitely the back-up, they're looking at future options.

  • POSTED BY yorkshirematt on | July 28, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    @meety My point is that, while JB may come back for next year's Ashes given that no one seems to be able to keep hold of the no.6 slot, Root will certainly not be playing as he is a good few years away from possibly opening for England. It would be more beneficial to him and Yorkshire to play the rest of the season with us. It probably is more important for you lot though as the Aus A side seems to have quite a few test players in it and it makes sense for them to get experience of playing over here.

  • POSTED BY RodStark on | July 27, 2012, 23:23 GMT

    Interesting that Davies is not picked as wk. I thought he was Prior's test back-up.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 27, 2012, 22:08 GMT

    @yorkshirematt - as incumbent title holders of the Ashes - you may think you don't need the prep - we sure appreciate it!! @landl47 - I agree, A year ago I would of said Rikki who? (Actually seen his name plenty of times). He is having a good summer, & it is probably a blip, but then again he may just of mastered his domain? Either way, I was just thinking he maybe a good short term fox for the most obvious issue in the England line up.@yorkshire-86 - do think Tredwell is more of a short form option for England. @TheHoneymonster - I agree with what you said re: Woakes. In THEORY, IF FC stats are anything to go by, Woakes is a genuine #7, who SHOULD take wickets at test level, although that would mean Patel @#6 (I think), & the keeper in the top 5, which is an"odd" balance, (despite both potential keepers being good batsmen). == == == Looking fwd to this match up! Bring it on!

  • POSTED BY Pelham_Barton on | July 27, 2012, 20:11 GMT

    @IandI47: Just to get the facts right, for the last three and a half years that Nick Compton was at Middlesex (from 21 June 2006 onwards) he opened the batting in all but four innings in first class cricket. For Somerset he has almost always batted at number 3 in first class cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | July 27, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    Kerrigan could be off on tour this winter if he does well here...

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | July 27, 2012, 18:20 GMT

    Landl - on the make-up of the squad, it would be strange to pick Patel and not play him, but with such a bowler-heavy selection it would seem a wasted opportunity. Batting Woakes down at 8 would be a waste in my eyes - he's already a much better batsman than Bresnan - so why not have as many bowling options as possible? With Harris, Coles and Tredwell it's not as if the lower order batting is weak by a long shot, so it's a big opportunity to do so. I'm guessing that as captain Morgan will have a say in it too, so we'll have to wait. There are two games though, so I'd expect to see the teams and perhaps the make-up of it experimented with; I'd be amazed if everyone didn't get a game. My personal line-up would be, depending on conditions; 1) Root 2) Compton 3) Taylor 4) Morgan 5) Patel/Bairstow 6) Kieswetter 7) Woakes 8) Tredwell 9) Coles 10) Harris 11) Meaker. If it looked like a turning pitch (which now we finally have sun we could get!) then Kerrigan comes in for Coles or Harris.

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | July 27, 2012, 18:11 GMT

    landl - he's opened in one day cricket for us, and coming in at first drop he's been a de facto opener for most of this season in the championship. With Trescothick's injury the selectors threw a couple of inexperienced youngsters up to open the batting and because of it we consistently have lost early wickets - Compton's been walking out to bat in the first few overs pretty much every game. Flower and Strauss seem to, rightly in my eyes, want an aggressive player down at 6 and Compton doesn't really fit that description, hence why Bairstow was picked over him for the WI series . He might come in at 3 though; Taylor has opened for the Lions before, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him up top with Root and Compton in at his usual spot.

  • POSTED BY yorkshire-86 on | July 27, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    Nice to see Morgan, Taylor and Root in there, but why Patel and Tredwell? Neither are good enough to play at the top level and never will be. As for Prior been too good to bat seven, the only alternative is to get another keeper in who is weak enough as a batsmen to bat seven, and have Prior carry the drinks. The selectors prefer to use six to try out new players, or to give the dreadful Bopara yet another life, rather than putting the best batsmen (Prior) there.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | July 27, 2012, 16:40 GMT

    @Honeymonster: has Compton opened at all for Somerset? He wasn't an opener at Middlesex. If he's played as an opener here, it would seem that he isn't being seriously considered for the England squad, as the skills and mindset of an opener are very different from those of a #6, which is where any potential replacement would have to fit in (however, I can't see Bopara being dropped on the strength of one match- that isn't Flower's way). BTW, on team selection, I'm pretty sure that Flower is heavily involved in who should be included. I think the 5th bowler in the side will be Patel; I can't see England playing 4 seamers unless the weather is really foul and the wicket really green- although this Summer that's a possibility. @Meety: I share your views about Woakes, but Rikki Clarke is really a journeyman who is having a good year. I don't see him making the step up to test level, although he'd be a handy member of an ODI/T20 squad.

  • POSTED BY yorkshirematt on | July 27, 2012, 16:24 GMT

    Maybe I'm being a bit one eyed here but as a staunch county supporter (more so than england) I really really hate these matches. They're fine in winter but in summer they deprive counties of their best players. And how many "Ashes preparation" series do we need, especially as it is a year away yet.

  • POSTED BY emmersonne on | July 27, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    @:TheHoneyMonster Hope you are right, the England of old were terribly for shoe-horning players into the wrong positions. I think Luke Wright batted in six different positions?

    I really think Prior is too good for number 7, in all honesty.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 27, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    @TheHoneymonster on (July 27 2012, 13:05 PM GMT) - thanks for that. Compton is the form batsmen outside test selection atm for England, but I don't think he is a #6, he is a direct replacement (IMO) for Trott, - not sure if they'd slot him in at #4 (where I think he'd do well) meaning a reshuffle of the batting line up.

  • POSTED BY voma on | July 27, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    Personally i would like to see Eoin Morgan back in the England test team , i honestly think hes a better player than Ravi Bopara . They can both play in the ODI and 20/20 matches , and theres nothing wrong with Ravi bowling ! . But i think Morgan has the potential to be a brilliant no6 batsmen . Theres not many players who hit the ball as sweetly as him , err in Ireland . LOL

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | July 27, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    Meety - on the ECB site it lists Kieswetter as keeper, which suggests to me he'll play. Landl - Root & Compton will open I'm fairly sure. Emmersonne - Compton not really suited to that no.6 role, someone like Woakes or Taylor are better picks. Ideally, it would be Hildreth, but he's overlooked once again! Odd, especially with a tour to India coming up - Hildreth is an excellent player of spin and an aggressive player to bring in down at 6. Compton is a better player of pace bowling than Hildreth though and should be considered back-up to the top 3.

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | July 27, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    Good looking squad, although many thanks selectors for taking Compton and Kiesy away for one of the most important games of the season against Notts! A few things stand out - it's bowler-heavy, suggesting that the Lions are much more inclined towards aggression than Flower and Strauss - a positive move I like very much. Having an all-rounder like Woakes is a big part of that though. Kieswetter has been named as keeper, which suggests to me he'll play, leaving Patel and Bairstow fighting over the other batting slot. Compton and Root I'd guess would open, with Taylor at 3 and Morgan at 4. The fact that they're looking likely to play 5 bowlers suggests that Tredwell, Coles and Harris will be in the mix too, to shore up the lower order batting. Would love to see Kerrigan get a game though!

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | July 27, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    Very disappointed to see Hildreth not there. Of the more mature players in the up-and-coming group (he's 27) he has to my mind the best credentials. Still, it's a pretty strong side; I'm pleased to see James Harris is still in the selectors' minds and I hope this means the Jade Dernbach experiment is over. Meaker, Coles Woakes and Harris make up a good seam attack, all aged 23 or younger. I suppose Tredwell has been included to give some experience, though it would have been nice to see Borthwick or Briggs adding variety to the spin attack. The other notable omissions are Ben Stokes (it's not a bad idea to let him play county cricket for now. He has lots of time to make his mark) and Alex Hales. They must be planning to play Kieswetter as an opener, which seems strange in a 4-day game. Team might be: Root, Kies, Taylor, Compton, Morgan, Bairstow, Patel, Woakes, Tredwell, Coles, Meaker.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 27, 2012, 12:17 GMT

    Gee, if Compton does well against Oz A, you'd have to think that would be the final exclamation point on his selection for a Test cap? Good squad that England have picked. I would of liked to have seen Rikki Clarke get a nod, as I think he might be the best fit for a #6 spot, being an allrounder. Very interested to see how Woakes goes, I really rate him. Wonder who'll keep?

  • POSTED BY on | July 27, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    Good squad i fell Hildreth should be in it though

  • POSTED BY on | July 27, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    Kinda surprised not to see Alex Hales in this squad - he's a class player!

  • POSTED BY emmersonne on | July 27, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    You get the idea that whoever does best in this series is the next number 6. Reckon it might be Compton.

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  • POSTED BY emmersonne on | July 27, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    You get the idea that whoever does best in this series is the next number 6. Reckon it might be Compton.

  • POSTED BY on | July 27, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    Kinda surprised not to see Alex Hales in this squad - he's a class player!

  • POSTED BY on | July 27, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    Good squad i fell Hildreth should be in it though

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 27, 2012, 12:17 GMT

    Gee, if Compton does well against Oz A, you'd have to think that would be the final exclamation point on his selection for a Test cap? Good squad that England have picked. I would of liked to have seen Rikki Clarke get a nod, as I think he might be the best fit for a #6 spot, being an allrounder. Very interested to see how Woakes goes, I really rate him. Wonder who'll keep?

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | July 27, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    Very disappointed to see Hildreth not there. Of the more mature players in the up-and-coming group (he's 27) he has to my mind the best credentials. Still, it's a pretty strong side; I'm pleased to see James Harris is still in the selectors' minds and I hope this means the Jade Dernbach experiment is over. Meaker, Coles Woakes and Harris make up a good seam attack, all aged 23 or younger. I suppose Tredwell has been included to give some experience, though it would have been nice to see Borthwick or Briggs adding variety to the spin attack. The other notable omissions are Ben Stokes (it's not a bad idea to let him play county cricket for now. He has lots of time to make his mark) and Alex Hales. They must be planning to play Kieswetter as an opener, which seems strange in a 4-day game. Team might be: Root, Kies, Taylor, Compton, Morgan, Bairstow, Patel, Woakes, Tredwell, Coles, Meaker.

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | July 27, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    Good looking squad, although many thanks selectors for taking Compton and Kiesy away for one of the most important games of the season against Notts! A few things stand out - it's bowler-heavy, suggesting that the Lions are much more inclined towards aggression than Flower and Strauss - a positive move I like very much. Having an all-rounder like Woakes is a big part of that though. Kieswetter has been named as keeper, which suggests to me he'll play, leaving Patel and Bairstow fighting over the other batting slot. Compton and Root I'd guess would open, with Taylor at 3 and Morgan at 4. The fact that they're looking likely to play 5 bowlers suggests that Tredwell, Coles and Harris will be in the mix too, to shore up the lower order batting. Would love to see Kerrigan get a game though!

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | July 27, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    Meety - on the ECB site it lists Kieswetter as keeper, which suggests to me he'll play. Landl - Root & Compton will open I'm fairly sure. Emmersonne - Compton not really suited to that no.6 role, someone like Woakes or Taylor are better picks. Ideally, it would be Hildreth, but he's overlooked once again! Odd, especially with a tour to India coming up - Hildreth is an excellent player of spin and an aggressive player to bring in down at 6. Compton is a better player of pace bowling than Hildreth though and should be considered back-up to the top 3.

  • POSTED BY voma on | July 27, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    Personally i would like to see Eoin Morgan back in the England test team , i honestly think hes a better player than Ravi Bopara . They can both play in the ODI and 20/20 matches , and theres nothing wrong with Ravi bowling ! . But i think Morgan has the potential to be a brilliant no6 batsmen . Theres not many players who hit the ball as sweetly as him , err in Ireland . LOL

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 27, 2012, 13:40 GMT

    @TheHoneymonster on (July 27 2012, 13:05 PM GMT) - thanks for that. Compton is the form batsmen outside test selection atm for England, but I don't think he is a #6, he is a direct replacement (IMO) for Trott, - not sure if they'd slot him in at #4 (where I think he'd do well) meaning a reshuffle of the batting line up.

  • POSTED BY emmersonne on | July 27, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    @:TheHoneyMonster Hope you are right, the England of old were terribly for shoe-horning players into the wrong positions. I think Luke Wright batted in six different positions?

    I really think Prior is too good for number 7, in all honesty.