England to make last-minute call on Eoin Morgan fitness
England play New Zealand in the second Tenty20 match
Monday 11 February 2013
England may have to make a last-minute call tomorrow on the fitness of key batsman Eoin Morgan.
The lynchpin number four has "jarred" his back and had to sit out this morning's practice at Seddon Park, where England will take on New Zealand in the second of three Twenty20s tomorrow.
Morgan hurt himself in the latter stages of the tourists' opening win in Auckland on Saturday when his 46 was the top score in England's best ever Twenty20 total of 214 for seven.
His injury is understood to be muscular and there has been no need as yet for a scan or injection.
Should the Irishman fail to recover in time to take part tomorrow, an opportunity is likely to once again come the way of Joe Root, while Morgan's absence will spell increased responsibility too up the order for another young Yorkshireman - Jonny Bairstow.
Morgan and Bairstow put on 81 together in seven overs at Eden Park and between them hit five of England's record 15 sixes.
For Bairstow, who had to miss England's final Twenty20 of 2012 in India and also the return trip there last month for five one-day internationals because of a family illness, 38 runs from 22 balls was an encouraging return.
"To spend some time in the middle was really pleasing and I was pleased with the way I struck the ball," he said.
England appeared to out-think and outplay New Zealand at the weekend, clearing the short straight boundaries almost at will and then - with some canny and accurate bowling - preventing their hosts doing the same in a tough run chase.
"We were really pleased with the performance we put in," added Bairstow.
"Everyone contributed, in all three disciplines."
Bairstow himself needed minor treatment after a knock on the fingers in practice today but, like fast bowler Jade Dernbach - who was 'spiked' in fielding drills and had to have a stitch in his left forearm - will be fit to play tomorrow.
For New Zealand, seamer Ian Butler and all-rounder Grant Elliott are available again after shaking off the injuries which ruled them out of the first match.
All-rounder Jimmy Neesham, called up in Auckland, has therefore again been released from the squad.
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