Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Eoin Morgan hopes for turning tracks against Australia


MANCHESTER: Eoin Morgan is hoping for spinning pitches during England’s One-day International series against Australia as the world champions plan for the 2023 World Cup in India.

The England captain is anticipating a gentle turner at Old Trafford in Manchester, where the fierce rivals will play 50-over fixtures over the next week with the first match on Friday, with weather conditions conducive to slow bowlers.

England’s rise to top spot in the ODI rankings was built around posting big totals on good batting tracks and their tournament triumph last summer was driven by their pace attack.

But with the next World Cup due to be held in India in three years’ time, as well as a Twenty20 World Cup there next year, Morgan is embracing the need for change.

“It’s a huge benefit to us playing at Old Trafford, particularly if we play on the wicket I think we’re going to play on which will hopefully be slow and take a lot of turn,” he told reporters on Thursday. “That’s the sort of wicket we will be more than likely to play on in India in the World Cup of 2023 and to play on that for a period of time will expose us in different areas we need to get better at.

“Over the course of the last four-and-a half years we have had to wait to play at Cardiff or Old Trafford or go away on tour to experience those conditions. So hopefully a little more of that will help us get better at what we need to do on those sorts of pitches.”

Joe Root, in the meantime, will return to the England ODI team with a ringing endorsement from his skipper Eoin Morgan.

Test captain Root was left out of the T20 series, but will be back in his familiar number three slot.

“Joe is one of the best players in the world and been in great form at Yorkshire so hopefully he can take that form into this series,” Morgan said. “Throughout the World Cup he showed how valuable a player he is to us. He is under-sold a lot of the time in white ball cricket, extremely versatile in what he does. His dot ball percentage is unbelievably low, his average is high, his strike rate high. From a number three that’s all you can ask.”

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