Friday, 29 July 2011

Morgan's Place No Pressing Issue

The nature of the English cricket press is that there always needs to be someone sweating over their place. Last summer, it was Alastair Cook, but he then went on to have the winter to end all winters. The spotlight then moved to Kevin Pietersen, who has since refound his top form. Last week it was Stuart Broad who was the next in line to be throw overboard, instead he's had a few of his best days in test cricket. So who's next on death row as the cricket press bottle spins onto it's next target? Well, after three failures in a row, it's going to be Eoin Morgan.

Eoin Morgan, for all of his ODI success, has had a quiet start to his test career. Other than the excellent ton against Pakistan last summer, he's yet to stamp his mark on test cricket and firmly assert himself as England's number six batsman. When Paul Collingwood retired, a space opened up in the England batting order, and the selectors chose Morgan; basically saying that he was their man to play in the middle order for the next few years. This wasn't that long ago.

England have been actually doing pretty well in test cricket over the past while, so there aren't many players who are under pressure for their place in the team. However, as there always needs to be someone in trouble (otherwise there is no story), Morgan is the man they've picked.

Techically, there's a lot that Eoin Morgan has to work on. But there's no denying that he is an absolute class batsman who can score a lot of runs, and has the perfect temprament for test cricket. In three innings this series, Morgan's had a couple of dubious decisions, and ended up with three low scores. This doesn't automatically make him a bad player or that he should be dropped. These things happen. It wasn't that long ago he was being backed as a permanenent member of the England team for years to come - so what's changed?

England's selectorial policy under Andy Flower has been as far removed from the knee-jerk as possible, with players going through lean spells being nursed back into form and returning to past glories. Eoin Morgan may not have the illustrious record of some of his teammates, but he certainly has the same ability. And it was only last month that Flower, Geoff Miller, and Strauss confirmed this by picking him for the Sri Lanka series.

England haven't got where they are today by making snap decisions and dropping out of form players. Eoin Morgan may be in a slight trough and James Taylor may be on the crest of a wave, but there's no need for impulsive change for changes sake on the back of one poor day of test cricket. Luckily, I think the selectors and Andy Flower know that, but the real issue is whether the press know that too.

No comments:

Post a Comment