England in New Zealand 2012-13 February 10, 2013

Morgan doubtful for second T20

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Eoin Morgan is a doubt for England's second T20 against New Zealand after jarring his back in the field during their 40-run win in Auckland on Saturday. Morgan, who was England's top scorer with 46 from 26 balls and took a brilliant running catch to dismiss Brendon McCullum, tweaked his back later in the New Zealand innings.

The team have moved on to Hamilton, venue for the second T20 on Tuesday, and the England management will assess Morgan's fitness on Monday. If he is unable to train, Morgan's place in the side is likely to be taken by Joe Root, who came on as a substitute fielder in Auckland.

Losing Morgan would leave England without one of their most experienced T20 players as they look to secure the three-match series with a game to spare. Morgan has played 33 times in T20 internationals, putting him sixth for England, with Stuart Broad and the rested Kevin Pietersen among those above him. The most-capped England batsman in the shortest form, however, is Luke Wright, who has played 40 times since his debut in 2007.

Wright joined Alex Hales in making 99, the highest score by an Englishman in T20 cricket, at the World Twenty20 in September. In the first New Zealand T20, Wright hit four sixes in a blistering 20-ball 42, confirming his value at No. 3, and then picked up a useful 2 for 29 with the ball.

With Ashley Giles recently installed as England's limited-overs coach, Wright hopes his consistent T20 form since a recall last year can also push him into Giles' thoughts for the ODI team. "I have huge ambitions to get back in the one-day side," he said. "It's something I'm desperate to do.

"I've just got to keep knocking on the door, and keep badgering Gilo and saying 'Look mate, I'm scoring runs - what have I got to do?' If there's a spot for me, I hope he'll pick me. If there isn't, I can't do much else. Maybe come the end of the tour, it might be something I could sit down and have a chat with him about, to find out what he wants to see from me or where I can improve and give myself better chances to get in."

The Champions Trophy is a major target for England this year and much of the preferred XI is in place. However, with a technically adept top three of Alastair Cook, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott followed by the power of Pietersen and Morgan, England could do with an allrounder to help balance the side. Wright's ODI bowling average of 57.53 weighs against him but, with Tim Bresnan undergoing further elbow surgery and the likes of Chris Woakes unproven, he could still make a case for his inclusion.

"It's quite tough obviously at the top of the order - with KP, Cookie, Belly and Trotty to come back in," Wright said of his ODI chances. "But I'd like to come into that middle order if there's no role for me at the top, and obviously my bowling might help. Batting at number three [in T20], I'm getting a key role in an England side - a responsibility that gives me a lot of confidence, and it's great to repay that faith."

Wright and Morgan helped England to their record T20 total in Auckland and with the small boundaries at Seddon Park - scene of the fastest T20 hundred, by Richard Levi a year ago - the next match could be another high-scoring one. New Zealand will have allrounders Ian Butler and Grant Elliott to choose from, after they were passed fit, and may be tempted to make changes.

The game will provide another opportunity for Ross Taylor to continue his international comeback. Mike Hesson, New Zealand's coach, was pleased to have the batsman available again, although he agreed with Taylor's assessment of their relationship, after a controversial change in the captaincy. "It was certainly good to have him back," Hesson said. "I think 'work in progress' is a good term. We're working well together ... and the longer we do that the better that relationship will be. But it's going to take a while before we're going out for coffee every week."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    Root's the obvious T20 replacement for Morgan at Hamilton, but the long-term planning for England's ODI batting line-up - both for the Champions Trophy & beyond - represents a horse of an entirely different colour. While the Testesque template of having an undeniably solid but potentially slow-moving top three works more often than not, it does so only when we can rely on an equally Testesque bowling line-up to do the job with the ball. The problem arises when we have to chase anything above 300/315: in such scenarios, Trott's single-minded but one-paced focus on maintaining what he calls his 'bubble' can be potentially fatal to the team's cause, so, given that the Cook/Bell axis has been a resounding success & therefore probably shouldn't be disturbed just yet, I'd drop Trott, move KP, Morgan & Buttler up to Three, Four & Five on a permanent basis &, depending on pitch conditions, rotate Root, Wright, Hales, Patel, Bairstow, Woakes & even Bopara as 'floaters' at Six & Seven.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | February 11, 2013, 0:31 GMT

    I'm not too concerned about losing Morgan because the rest of the batting looks good and it's a chance to see what Root can do in this format. His performance in ODIs against India suggests that he could be better than I thought he would.

    I have to agree that Wright should not be considered a genuine all-rounder, but neither does he appear to be the bits-and-pieces player that he used to be. He now looks a genuine batsman who can bowl a bit and having a sixth or seventh bowling option in ODIs would not be a bad thing.

  • POSTED BY Tigg on | February 10, 2013, 21:40 GMT

    Luke Wright should definitely be in the picture for both the Champions Trophy and the world cup. His bowling is decent enough and has proved very effective in county cricket for Sussex and who can forget his nerveless over in the T20 final? While i wouldn't expect a full ten overs from him, he'll try his damndest to do a good job.

    He offers some serious power hitting, the sort that Kieswetter and Samit have struggled to do, and can be bumped up the order if the top three bat through the bulk of the overs.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | February 12, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    @RodStark on (February 12, 2013, 3:18 GMT), I agree with you somewhat there. Many have been calling for Trott to be dropped from the ODI team and, while I'm not as enthusiastic on that point as some, I don't see Trott as being in our best ODI team in the medium to long term. While his average is an asset while England are struggling, his strike rate is a hindrance when they're doing well. If and when the batting is performing more consistently, Trott will become more of a hindrance that a help. That said, the two poor showings with the bat in India suggest that the rest of the batting is not at that level of consistency yet, so I'd keep Trott for now. That flexibility is a good idea though. They were happy to drop Root down the order in India when they thought that he may not be able to keep up the desired strike rate so I don't think that Trott's experience should influence them into not doing the same to him. What's best for the team is what matters.

  • POSTED BY RodStark on | February 12, 2013, 3:18 GMT

    Looking ahead, i think you have to have Trott in the first choice ODI team, but the batting order should be flexible. If the openers get off to a good start, keep Trott back. He may not need to bat at all but could probably do as well as most knocking it around in the last few overs if he came in at six or seven--even though it wouldn't be his natural game. If an early wicket falls, then send him in at three to rebuild and steer the rest of the innings in his normal style. It seems to me that flexible batting orders haven't been explored as much as they should be in the shorter formats.

  • POSTED BY Cricfan123123 on | February 11, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    Waiting for the preview...and possible playing eleven....please if any one sure about both team's playing eleven,help me out please

  • POSTED BY Selassie-I on | February 11, 2013, 10:16 GMT

    Gives joey root a chance so it's fine with me. Give Morgy a game off to get back to fitness and see what root can do.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | February 11, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    @jackiethepen on (February 10, 2013, 23:03 GMT) I know you're going to disagree with me and it's obvious to any regular on this website why , but your man was really poor for England in ODIs up until his recall to the side , so surely guys like Wright and Hales (who I'm not sure without checking has played ODI cricket) also deserve more than one stint to prove themselves. If they fail then so be it. I personally don't think we stand much chance of winning a shorter format trophy with the adept 3 in the same side. Maybe I'll be proven wrong

  • POSTED BY 22many on | February 11, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    where Morgan caught McCullum,, is where McCullum has been caught so many times it is where I would put my best fieldman everytime he walked to the middle and bowl to him....gambler cant help himself.

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    Luke Wright much better player than Samit Patel.

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    Root's the obvious T20 replacement for Morgan at Hamilton, but the long-term planning for England's ODI batting line-up - both for the Champions Trophy & beyond - represents a horse of an entirely different colour. While the Testesque template of having an undeniably solid but potentially slow-moving top three works more often than not, it does so only when we can rely on an equally Testesque bowling line-up to do the job with the ball. The problem arises when we have to chase anything above 300/315: in such scenarios, Trott's single-minded but one-paced focus on maintaining what he calls his 'bubble' can be potentially fatal to the team's cause, so, given that the Cook/Bell axis has been a resounding success & therefore probably shouldn't be disturbed just yet, I'd drop Trott, move KP, Morgan & Buttler up to Three, Four & Five on a permanent basis &, depending on pitch conditions, rotate Root, Wright, Hales, Patel, Bairstow, Woakes & even Bopara as 'floaters' at Six & Seven.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | February 11, 2013, 0:31 GMT

    I'm not too concerned about losing Morgan because the rest of the batting looks good and it's a chance to see what Root can do in this format. His performance in ODIs against India suggests that he could be better than I thought he would.

    I have to agree that Wright should not be considered a genuine all-rounder, but neither does he appear to be the bits-and-pieces player that he used to be. He now looks a genuine batsman who can bowl a bit and having a sixth or seventh bowling option in ODIs would not be a bad thing.

  • POSTED BY Tigg on | February 10, 2013, 21:40 GMT

    Luke Wright should definitely be in the picture for both the Champions Trophy and the world cup. His bowling is decent enough and has proved very effective in county cricket for Sussex and who can forget his nerveless over in the T20 final? While i wouldn't expect a full ten overs from him, he'll try his damndest to do a good job.

    He offers some serious power hitting, the sort that Kieswetter and Samit have struggled to do, and can be bumped up the order if the top three bat through the bulk of the overs.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | February 12, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    @RodStark on (February 12, 2013, 3:18 GMT), I agree with you somewhat there. Many have been calling for Trott to be dropped from the ODI team and, while I'm not as enthusiastic on that point as some, I don't see Trott as being in our best ODI team in the medium to long term. While his average is an asset while England are struggling, his strike rate is a hindrance when they're doing well. If and when the batting is performing more consistently, Trott will become more of a hindrance that a help. That said, the two poor showings with the bat in India suggest that the rest of the batting is not at that level of consistency yet, so I'd keep Trott for now. That flexibility is a good idea though. They were happy to drop Root down the order in India when they thought that he may not be able to keep up the desired strike rate so I don't think that Trott's experience should influence them into not doing the same to him. What's best for the team is what matters.

  • POSTED BY RodStark on | February 12, 2013, 3:18 GMT

    Looking ahead, i think you have to have Trott in the first choice ODI team, but the batting order should be flexible. If the openers get off to a good start, keep Trott back. He may not need to bat at all but could probably do as well as most knocking it around in the last few overs if he came in at six or seven--even though it wouldn't be his natural game. If an early wicket falls, then send him in at three to rebuild and steer the rest of the innings in his normal style. It seems to me that flexible batting orders haven't been explored as much as they should be in the shorter formats.

  • POSTED BY Cricfan123123 on | February 11, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    Waiting for the preview...and possible playing eleven....please if any one sure about both team's playing eleven,help me out please

  • POSTED BY Selassie-I on | February 11, 2013, 10:16 GMT

    Gives joey root a chance so it's fine with me. Give Morgy a game off to get back to fitness and see what root can do.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | February 11, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    @jackiethepen on (February 10, 2013, 23:03 GMT) I know you're going to disagree with me and it's obvious to any regular on this website why , but your man was really poor for England in ODIs up until his recall to the side , so surely guys like Wright and Hales (who I'm not sure without checking has played ODI cricket) also deserve more than one stint to prove themselves. If they fail then so be it. I personally don't think we stand much chance of winning a shorter format trophy with the adept 3 in the same side. Maybe I'll be proven wrong

  • POSTED BY 22many on | February 11, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    where Morgan caught McCullum,, is where McCullum has been caught so many times it is where I would put my best fieldman everytime he walked to the middle and bowl to him....gambler cant help himself.

  • POSTED BY on | February 11, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    Luke Wright much better player than Samit Patel.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | February 11, 2013, 4:58 GMT

    @jackiethepen on (February 10, 2013, 23:03 GMT), I don't think that anyone is suggesting that Wright would open in ODIs. More likely he would come in at #5 or #6. As for Hales, as he's an opener by trade and has done relatively well in T20s, I'd say that he's a distinct possibility for opening in ODIs at some point. He looks quite capable of doing the job that they wanted Kieswetter and then KP to do at the top of the order, i.e. hit out in the first 10 overs and get them off to a flyer. Bell doesn't have the same big shots as KP or even Hales but they seem content at the moment to make a steadier start in the interest of keeping wickets in hand. The question remains whether Bell and Cook are the men to open when they are chasing a big total. He should be capable of scoring quicker early if the need arises, but then he should be capable of a better Test average than he has too. If Bell doesn't work out in the medium to long term then I'd be fine with Hales being his replacement.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | February 11, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    It's good to see that Wright has higher aspirations; every cricketer should want to be the best they can be. He's certainly a much better player than a couple of years ago and England does need a batsman who can bowl to provide cover in their ODI side. Which of the top 5 he would displace is the tricky question.

    To cover for Morgan, if he's unfit for the next game, it pretty much has to be Root. I guess the selectors could take a flier on Woakes as a replacement for Morgan, but I'd rather see Woakes come in for Dernbach (I doubt Woakes will be throwing down any 5 no-ballers in the last over) and Root for Morgan, with Buttler moving up a position. That makes the side Hales, Lumb, Wright, Bairstow, Buttler, Root, Patel, Woakes, Broad, Tredwell, Finn. That's 4 seamers and 3 who take pace off the ball and batting down to #10. It's also a very young side, with only Lumb and Tredwell over 30 and 6 players of 24 or under. I like the balance in that side.

  • POSTED BY jackiethepen on | February 10, 2013, 23:03 GMT

    Wright has shown no ability to open in ODIs and neither has Hales, so the 'technically adept top order' are likely to stay there. However injuries offer opportunities, both Wright and Hales are power hitters and more likely to be replacements for KP or Morgan at 4 and 5, making hay in the batting power play and last 10 overs. Morgan is currently injured. If he doesn't recover in time Wright or Hales might get an opportunity to play in ODIs which follow on from the t20s. There is no warm up game to try them out however.

  • POSTED BY lodd on | February 10, 2013, 22:40 GMT

    Martin Crowther ....So what is your team ? you have 13 in there!

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | February 10, 2013, 22:04 GMT

    With such a wealth of batting talent to choose from England have no problem filling morgan's boots. Jos Buttler, the powerful six hitter and very talented young bat, could move up with ease.

  • POSTED BY Trickstar on | February 10, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    @Martin Crowther Not a bad team you've picked there but there's no KP and Trott & Jimmy's back, so you're team needs a re-jig. From the players available I'd go Cook Bell Trott Morgan Root Buttler Woakes Swann Broad, Jimmy Finn

    Some people are against Trott playing but the facts speak for themselves, in the 13 games he played last year we won 12 of them and he averages 49.

    A case could be made for Wright to have another go in the side since he's improved out of sight with his batting. In the last 2 season playing for Sussex he's averaged 67 in 2011 & 60 in 2012, those kind of numbers can't be ignored and are far better than Root's averages of 31 & 34, his bowling can be useful in certain situations, especially on pitches that offer a bit like in NZ & England. You could play him instead of Woakes, giving better batting but lesser bowling, or play him instead of Root where tbh you would get a different kind of batting and a better bowler.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | February 10, 2013, 21:08 GMT

    Firstly , I don't think anyone should see Wright as an all rounder. More a batsman who can bowl a few overs. Personally I want to see him and Hales be given and opportunity and if either do well enough , displace one of the "technically adept trio". If these guys come in and don't cut the mustard then fine , at least we've seen them and yes I know Wright played before but he's a better player now and on current form one of the best T20 batsmen we have

  • POSTED BY Whatsgoinoffoutthere on | February 10, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    @Martin Crowther: No Jade Dernbach? How could you do such a thing?

    :D

  • POSTED BY Whatsgoinoffoutthere on | February 10, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    "The most-capped England batsman in the shortest form, however, is Luke Wright, who has played 40 times since his debut in 2007."

    Now, honestly, how many people would have got that one right in a pub quiz?

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    Luke Wright's problems is his bowling is a bit toothless and can get carted around the ground. His batting has improved but I still think its too inconsistent at international level except for the T20 format. However,if he plays in the team you will have to put him at number 7 where it is hit and run most of the time but because his bowling is a bit weak and can be inconsistent I dont think England can afford to give him a chance in the 50 over team.

    My England team for the 50 over games would be...

    Cook(c) Bell Pietersen Root Morgan Butler (wkt) Woakes Swann/Tredwell Broad Finn Meaker/Harris

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | February 10, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    Well hopefully they can bring in another international to fill the void, even though the so-called 'new wave' of south africans is struggling.

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2013, 13:04 GMT

    It doesn't matter now they have almost won the series . wanted Kp to blast the kiwis don't know y he is been rested again #bestt20player , and btw am Indian!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2013, 13:04 GMT

    It doesn't matter now they have almost won the series . wanted Kp to blast the kiwis don't know y he is been rested again #bestt20player , and btw am Indian!!

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | February 10, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    Well hopefully they can bring in another international to fill the void, even though the so-called 'new wave' of south africans is struggling.

  • POSTED BY on | February 10, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    Luke Wright's problems is his bowling is a bit toothless and can get carted around the ground. His batting has improved but I still think its too inconsistent at international level except for the T20 format. However,if he plays in the team you will have to put him at number 7 where it is hit and run most of the time but because his bowling is a bit weak and can be inconsistent I dont think England can afford to give him a chance in the 50 over team.

    My England team for the 50 over games would be...

    Cook(c) Bell Pietersen Root Morgan Butler (wkt) Woakes Swann/Tredwell Broad Finn Meaker/Harris

  • POSTED BY Whatsgoinoffoutthere on | February 10, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    "The most-capped England batsman in the shortest form, however, is Luke Wright, who has played 40 times since his debut in 2007."

    Now, honestly, how many people would have got that one right in a pub quiz?

  • POSTED BY Whatsgoinoffoutthere on | February 10, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    @Martin Crowther: No Jade Dernbach? How could you do such a thing?

    :D

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | February 10, 2013, 21:08 GMT

    Firstly , I don't think anyone should see Wright as an all rounder. More a batsman who can bowl a few overs. Personally I want to see him and Hales be given and opportunity and if either do well enough , displace one of the "technically adept trio". If these guys come in and don't cut the mustard then fine , at least we've seen them and yes I know Wright played before but he's a better player now and on current form one of the best T20 batsmen we have

  • POSTED BY Trickstar on | February 10, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    @Martin Crowther Not a bad team you've picked there but there's no KP and Trott & Jimmy's back, so you're team needs a re-jig. From the players available I'd go Cook Bell Trott Morgan Root Buttler Woakes Swann Broad, Jimmy Finn

    Some people are against Trott playing but the facts speak for themselves, in the 13 games he played last year we won 12 of them and he averages 49.

    A case could be made for Wright to have another go in the side since he's improved out of sight with his batting. In the last 2 season playing for Sussex he's averaged 67 in 2011 & 60 in 2012, those kind of numbers can't be ignored and are far better than Root's averages of 31 & 34, his bowling can be useful in certain situations, especially on pitches that offer a bit like in NZ & England. You could play him instead of Woakes, giving better batting but lesser bowling, or play him instead of Root where tbh you would get a different kind of batting and a better bowler.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | February 10, 2013, 22:04 GMT

    With such a wealth of batting talent to choose from England have no problem filling morgan's boots. Jos Buttler, the powerful six hitter and very talented young bat, could move up with ease.

  • POSTED BY lodd on | February 10, 2013, 22:40 GMT

    Martin Crowther ....So what is your team ? you have 13 in there!

  • POSTED BY jackiethepen on | February 10, 2013, 23:03 GMT

    Wright has shown no ability to open in ODIs and neither has Hales, so the 'technically adept top order' are likely to stay there. However injuries offer opportunities, both Wright and Hales are power hitters and more likely to be replacements for KP or Morgan at 4 and 5, making hay in the batting power play and last 10 overs. Morgan is currently injured. If he doesn't recover in time Wright or Hales might get an opportunity to play in ODIs which follow on from the t20s. There is no warm up game to try them out however.