ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Australia v England, 7th ODI, Perth

Morgan doubt for World Cup

Andrew McGlashan at the WACA

February 6, 2011

Comments: 20 | Text size: A | A

Eoin Morgan top-scored with 43 in England's one-wicket win, Australia v England, 1st Twenty20, Adelaide, January 12, 2011
Eoin Morhan hurt his finger in Adelaide but carried on to play the next two matches © Getty Images

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

  • Eoin Morgan: Fractured middle finger on left hand in fourth ODI against Australia
  • Tim Bresnan: Picked up calf injury during second ODI
  • Graeme Swann: Back strain kept him out of ODI series
  • Paul Collingwood: Back spasms sent him home after the sixth ODI
  • Ajmal Shahzad: Limped off pitch with hamstring injury during fifth ODI
  • Stuart Broad: Tore his abdominal muscle during second Ashes Test and didn't feature in ODI series

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.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 20 
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Posted by Simon on (February 8, 2011, 9:40 GMT)

This could help settle the best England XI. With a lack of Morgan that leaves a top order of Strauss, Prior, Trott, KP, Bell and Colly (Ideally opening with Bell over Prior) with Yardy, Bresnan, Broad, Swann and Anderson as the main five bowlers.

A nice solid balanced side leaving Tredwell as a backup spinner, Shahzad as backup seamer, Wright as backup all-rpunder/finisher and I'd bring Davies into the squad as a backup keeper/batsman.

Posted by Andy on (February 8, 2011, 1:32 GMT)

I think Adam Lyth deserves a call-up if Morgan needs to be replaced. I think he's the 3rd best opener in this country in my opinion, and I'm not a fan of selecting the likes of Prior to open as he's not an opening batsman. I'd go with Prior at 5 or 6 to replace Morgan in the middle order, then put Lyth as an opener where Prior has been batting with no success in Australia.

I'm still amazed that Adil Rashid never got into the XV at all, as he'd be able to bat at 7 and probably bowl 10 overs as well, and we don't have a leg spinner in the side.

Posted by MOHAMMAD on (February 7, 2011, 20:32 GMT)


Posted by Dummy4 on (February 7, 2011, 15:04 GMT)

Guys There Comes A Great News For All The World Cup Participants.......

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 7, 2011, 14:38 GMT)

@world_peace:Sorry..I misread the Initials of EJG Morgan as EJB...Thought of mentioning Initials to refer him in short..And injury always takes a toll on ur body and hamper u from playing ur favourite shots:)

@Meety:hi,yeah u r rite..According to me,this England team which performed so well in tests lost the ODI series becoz of bowling..Just because in all the 7 matches,if u look at the scorecard,u will see one of the aus openers making a quickfire 30 or above and one of the topfive aus batsmen getting a bigscore..And In Ind,where there are flat pitches,u need to take the wickets upfront to put pressure on the middle order..And no way u can look to contain the batsmen and wait for them to make a mistake..Simple formula for all Teams batting second in subcontinent:Preserve the wickets earlier on&Attack later ..& also Choose wisely when u want to take batting powerplay!!

Posted by ian on (February 7, 2011, 6:58 GMT)

Tuesday afternoon's selection meeting look like being more than usually tense and complex. The overall balance of the side is going to be the overriding issue, it seems to me. However,the one qualiity that Flower and Strauss share is commonsense, besides the great chemistry between them. I think that any player who is carrying an injury that is likely to be exacerbated by playing again before COMPLETE recovery should be left at home; it's just too much of a risk to go into a punishing tournament hoping that x and y can be patched up sufficiently to see it through. Then there is the balance of the squad composition to consider. Knowing what we do at this stage, it looks as if Bresnan and Morgan are likely to be missing, with Shazad a third possibility. Suggested replacements are Tremlett, Bopara and Plunkett. Davies is also in the picture, I think. The Ashes was always the priority this winter and a strong showing in the WC is the best that England supporters can reasonably hope for.

Posted by Richard on (February 7, 2011, 2:42 GMT)

Injuries are a part of cricket. There's no point dwelling on it. Just pick your best available players and do the best you can is the name of the game. Making excuses is just shooting yourself in the foot. Meety and I are in agreement on this issue (discussed in a previous article) and these setbacks are as much a challenge and an opportuninty for an otherwise unselected player to shine as anything else. That's how teams with a winning mental attitude win those 'unwinnable' games. It's never over 'till the fat lady sings, and the aforementioned rotund dame can take a surprisingly long time to put on her make up and make her way to the stage. Until then the world is your oyster.

Posted by John on (February 7, 2011, 1:30 GMT)

Morgan would be a loss, though I don't think such a big one as is being suggested. Given that England are going to play Strauss, Prior, Trott and KP as their top 4, that leaves 2 spots for Bell, Collingwood and Morgan. Assuming he's fit, Collingwood has to play in order to give England the extra bowler, especially in the subcontinent. That leaves Bell and Morgan to contest one spot. After that, it's Yardy, Broad, Swann, Bresnan (if fit, Shahzad if not) and Anderson. It's worrying that so many players have been injured; hopefully they'll all be fit for the WC. If they are, England should at least make the semi-finals- anyone drawing any conclusions from the silly series that just ended is delusional. If Morgan and especially Bresnan aren't fit, however, it will be a bigger challenge.

Posted by aaron on (February 7, 2011, 0:11 GMT)

@murali, who's EJB . Morgan injured the finger which is gonna hamper him from playing his main shots especially the unorthodox ones.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 6, 2011, 23:27 GMT)

The Aussies have a few worries without Ponting and Hussey. However they have found replacemements to come in quick and do a decent job. Not sure Ponting is the right man for ODI cricket any more anyway. Hussey (after his blitz in the T20 World Trophy against Pakistan and other great contributions recently) will certainly be missed, English injuries are more though. Swann, Bresnan, Broad, Collingwood and Morgan would have made up half the team in this OD series, and would play every game in the WC without a doubt. It's now possible that an entire half the first choice team will not play - with the best two backup bowlers in Tremlett and SHazad - who probably would have been called up to replace Bresnan and Broad also injured. Gotta wonder why 6 of Englands top 8 bowlers all got injured within 3 weeks. Then lletting Anderson go home (fair enough) but Cooke sent to spend his time walking his dog back in Essex after breaking a ton of batting records! What are England thining of!?

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Andrew McGlashan Deputy Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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