Sunday, June 26, 2022

Morgan admits an injury could limit appearances in England this summer

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Eoin Morgan has admitted he is likely to miss England games this summer as he manages his troublesome upper right leg to feature in this autumn’s T20 World Cup.

A quadriceps injury sustained in the West Indies in January and the England captain recently sprained a groin for Middlesex, threatening his readiness for three one-day internationals in the Netherlands.

On the eve of the first ODI in Amstelveen, a suburb of Amsterdam, Morgan announced that he plans to play a full role in the series, but accepted that there could be instances when he won’t be available for England.

He has indicated he will not play in T20 for Middlesex on consecutive days and may take the same approach with England who will do so against India on July 9th and 10th and South Africa on July 27th and 28th, to keep his body fresh for the T20 World Championship which starts in Australia in four months.

Morgan said: “Some of our international games are back-to-back (I got injured) in the West Indies where I played Saturday and Sunday and then injured myself ahead of Wednesday’s game.

“It was the result of two international games in a row so it’s unlikely it will be me (I play every England game this summer). But that just depends on how I get to this match from here.

“If I’m flying and everything’s going absolutely fine (I’m playing), but if I’m not, I don’t have to repeat that for a World Cup because (playing on consecutive days) just doesn’t happen (at World Cups). But yeah, I’m just getting by.”

Injury woes and poor form – Morgan has a best 40 in his last 18 T20 innings with a low 16 average – have led to speculation about when he will step down as white ball skipper.

While reiterating his uncertainty about leading England’s defense at next year’s World Cup Over-50, Morgan insisted the team must trump any sense of personal ambition.

He said: “I have to get to the T20 first. I’ll take it as it comes, manage my contribution, my body (and) am I still contributing on and off the field within the team?

“I genuinely have the best interests of the team at heart. It’s been like that forever. I trust this method since I took over. Being in the position I am in right now is a privilege.”

Morgan, whose team is expected to play their semi-professional opponents in front of at least 7,000 spectators at the scenic VRA Cricket Ground on Friday, is without Test regulars Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow and injured fast bowlers Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Chris Awakened.

However, a quintet of left-arm sailors in Sam Curran, Reece Topley, David Willey, David Payne and Luke Wood in a 14-man squad – also featuring World Cup winners Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid – have the eyebrows Morgan insisted her adaptability could be key.

Morgan said: “The fact that they’re the left arm gives them a different angle, a different strategy. In my experience, left armies are certainly open to doing more and doing different things, which is great.

“But the lads who are chosen are here purely on merit and ideally they want to make a difference in our best T20 and 50-overs team or squad.”

This series, televised by Sky Sports but streamed on the England and Wales Cricket Board website and app, marks Morgan’s first appearance alongside new limited overs head coach Matthew Mott, while Friday’s opener was England’s first ODI since is almost a year.

The 50-over format has taken a backseat to England’s Test and T20 commitments, but when asked if the Dutch series will mark the start of next year’s World Cup inauguration, Morgan said: “Yes, I hope so .

“One of the reasons we have our seniors here is to develop that relationship with the coach.

“Right now it’s all about getting the right players in the right roles given the squad we’ve brought with us.”

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