Eoin Morgan last night resolutely defended the decision to play in the Indian Premier League, which is likely to cost him a place in the first Test.
"It was always in my schedule to play in the IPL and it's done far more for me than playing in the Championship," said Morgan after making a sparkling, unbeaten 156 for England Lions against the Sri Lankans in his first first-class innings of the summer.
All the signs suggest that the selectors have already decided to select Ravi Bopara for the match in Cardiff, which starts next Thursday. But while Morgan was in destructive form yesterday, Bopara was out for an unconvincing 17 when conditions were at their most difficult early in the day.
"I knew that I was taking a risk in going to IPL but for my personal development as a batsman I know I have done the right thing," said Morgan. "I absolutely want to play Test cricket but if I don't get into the side for Cardiff I will go back to India to play in the semi-finals and, hopefully, the final of the IPL."
Morgan has been playing for Kolkata Knight Riders this season and made 137 runs in his nine innings, 19 fewer than he managed yesterday. His unapologetic tone was hardly designed to persuade the selectors that they ought to pick him but they may be forced to have second thoughts. He is a player who clearly knows his own mind.
"I didn't find it too difficult coming back to this format after weeks of Twenty20," he said. "I have changed my tempo and I now play every ball as I see it.
"I have learnt so much from playing out there and last season before I made my Test debut the experience was invaluable."Reuse content