ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
Australia v England, 7th ODI, Perth
Morgan doubt for World Cup
February 6, 2011
Report : Voges helps Australia take series 6-1
News : Morgan ruled out of final ODI
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Matches: Australia v England at Perth
Andrew Strauss has much to ponder as England fly home after more than three months in Australia and top of that list is now the "substantial" fracture to Eoin Morgan's finger, which threatens to rule him out of the World Cup. It means England head home with injury issues hanging over six of their 15-man squad with just five days remaining before they leave for the subcontinent.
Morgan was ruled out of the final match of the series in Australia after X-rays revealed a fracture to the middle finger on his left hand, which he sustained in Adelaide but was only picked up more than a week later. He flew out of Perth as the last game unfolded and will see a specialist immediately on his return to the UK.
It is expected that the results will be known by the time Andy Flower, the England team director, sits down with the selectors on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the injury situation and Strauss is bracing himself for the worst.
"He's got a broken finger, he's going to see a specialist tomorrow to decide what the best course of action is to remedy that situation," he said. "There's obviously a chance that he's not going to feature. They went for an X-ray and I think everyone was reasonably surprised to see it was quite a substantial fracture."
England's walking wounded
Morgan's absence would leave a massive hole in England's middle order even though he had a poor series in Australia where he made 106 runs at 17.66. "He is [important], particularly in those conditions as well, being able to clear the ropes in the manner that he does," Strauss said. "It's a big loss for us potentially. Hopefully there will be an opportunity for him to play. If he isn't available someone is going to have to fill those shoes."
Questions will be asked as to why it took so long to diagnose the problem, but Morgan insisted his finger was only bruised and carried on to play matches at Brisbane and Sydney. Eventually, the medical staff told him he had to have it examined and the full extent of the damage become clear. "He just thought it was bruised. He got on with it, but just when he was thinking it would start feeling better it got worse and it was restricting his play," Strauss said.
Despite the troubled end to the long tour and the 6-1 scoreline in the ODI series, Strauss knows his team achieved their major aim of the trip by retaining the Ashes in three crushing innings victories. "They are two different forms of the game and that Ashes victory was incredibly special and one that we'll savour forever. You talk to people out there and they say 'great tour' even though we just lost 6-1.
"We're disappointed with the one-day results but we'll get onto that plane, certainly those who were involved in the Ashes, and be very happy with what we've achieved."
However, to make this winter go down as one of England's best, it is vital they don't crash out of the World Cup in embarrassing circumstances as has been the case in the last four tournaments. While Strauss can still quite rightly reflect on Ashes glory the next seven weeks are another massive challenge. With our without injury worries.