Collingwood praises 'versatile' Morgan

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The Independent Online

Eoin Morgan's latest demonstration of his talents had few consequences as England scraped through to the ICC World Twenty20 Super Eight stages with a no-result against Ireland.

But the Dublin-born batsman nonetheless earned rave reviews from both England captain Paul Collingwood and his opposite number William Porterfield last night.



England badly needed more assistance from Morgan - who had made 50s in his previous two Twenty20 innings for his adopted country - to eke out a still vulnerable total of 120 for eight at the Guyana National Stadium in their Group D shoot-out with Ireland.



As it was, more Providence rain prevented their opponents from a shot at even a Duckworth-Lewis revised total - and England therefore went through alongside group winners West Indies on a vastly superior run rate.



But none of that stopped Collingwood praising the Middlesex left-hander, who also helped England post 191 for five in another rain-affected match against the Windies 24 hours earlier.



"He's a very versatile player. He's obviously got the power and can play all the shots. But he's also got a good mind on him," said Collingwood.



"That's what you need in the middle order, number five especially.



"You've got to adjust to the situation, and he seems to be reading the situations really well."



Morgan was unable to launch the late onslaught he had against West Indies, on an awkward surface yesterday, but still finished with a well-played top score of 45.



"We thought we could play up to the 15th over or so today, and try to hit them hard," added Collingwood.



"But it was so hard to get the big shots away on that wicket, and hit the boundaries.



"A lot of credit goes to the Irish bowlers. The wicket seemed to suit them quite well, unfortunately, but I'm absolutely delighted with the way 'Morgs' is going and progressing as a player."



Porterfield, a close friend of Morgan's for many years, is confident that the man who decided after the 2007 World Cup to give up his Ireland career and qualify instead for England will go right to the top in world cricket.



"He's always improvised and always looked to take his game to the next level - and he's doing that at the top level now, performing on the world stage and doing it against the best bowlers in the world," said Porterfield.



"All credit to him for the way he trains and practises and keeps coming up with ways of getting a boundary.



"He's kicked on big time and has become a key member of the England team.



"He deserves it; he's a fantastic cricketer, and I hope he goes on even more."



Porterfield believes too that no one should make the mistake of pigeon-holing Morgan as a one-dimensional limited-overs batsman.



"He's started to score hundreds in the (county) championship and got a hundred against South Africa when they were touring (in 2008).



"He's got that ability to do well against the best, and I think he'll definitely go on to play Test cricket.



"He's definitely got that mentality to switch from one form to the other.



"I think he's going to go places."



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