West Indies v England, 1st ODI, Antigua February 27, 2014

Morgan doubtful with knee injury

Eoin Morgan has emerged as an injury doubt ahead of the first ODI of the series between West Indies and England in Antigua.

Morgan, England's vice-captain and an increasingly important batsmen in their limited-overs side, hurt his left knee while fielding during the warm-up match against the UWI Vice Chancellor's XI at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Tuesday.

He did not take part in training on Thursday and, though an England spokesman suggested the team were confident he would be fit for Friday's game, he will not be risked so close to the start of the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, which begins in little more than three weeks, if there is a chance of worsening the problem.

If Morgan does not play, it may open the door for Moeen Ali to make an international debut. Like Morgan, Moeen is a left-handed batsman who finished the 2013 domestic season rated as county cricket's most valuable player having scored more first-class runs than anyone in the country.

If he does play, though, it may be his offspin that proves as valuable as his batting. A close friend of Saeed Ajmal, who shared many of his bowling secrets when the pair played together for Worcestershire, Moeen is one of few English bowlers to be able to deliver the doosra.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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  • Paulo on February 27, 2014, 18:15 GMT

    Terrible news. Our best batsman in white ball cricket, and the guy who should captain both sides. Hopefully he can stay fit for the WT20.

    Good luck to Moeen Ali if he replaces him.

    Morgan is wasted at 5 anyway tbh. The only way his effectiveness could be more limited is by getting injured.

    If his injury is long-term, perhaps it could be seen as a result of bad karma of whoever was responsible for not including KP in this ridiculous squad.

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