Playing IPL 'will not help Morgan win place back'

Flower leaves batsman out of Test squad and questions wisdom of concentrating on T20

There is a price to pay for failure in English cricket and yesterday Eoin Morgan paid it. The selectors did their duty and dropped him from the squad for the Test series in Sri Lanka which starts next month.

Morgan finished the tour of the United Arab Emirates in dreadful form and only a perverse loyalty to those in situ could have saved him. In 17 innings in all England's matches – warm-up, Test and limited overs – his top score was 31. Something had to give.

The selectors have made two changes for the trip to Sri Lanka. Samit Patel takes Morgan's place, rightly being given a chance to press his claims to a place in the longer game, and James Tredwell is the surprising choice as spin cover, perhaps a reflection on the dearth of quality in the English game.

Morgan may find it difficult to work his way back into the side after such a torrid time of it. He has scored two centuries in his 17 Test matches in two separate spells, the second of which began last summer. The selectors had already picked their side for the first Test when Morgan persuaded them to change their minds by scoring 191 of the choicest runs for England Lions in a tour match – against Sri Lanka.

The player who gave way then was the one who will probably have first chance to take his place now, Ravi Bopara. Andy Flower, England's coach, said of Morgan just before leaving the UAE yesterday: "He's had a tough tour of the UAE, we've been here for two months and it's been hard work for him. He has got some work to do, I think, on his Test game.

"That's going to be quite difficult for him, considering his next cricket is going to be IPL cricket. When he comes back he'll have limited exposure to opportunities to get four-day cricket under his belt so he has got to go away and give some serious thought to his method in Test cricket. I still think he has a very exciting future in Test cricket. He's only 25 and he's a very talented player, a very confident player and a very dangerous player. If he can get his game in order so that the next time he gets a game in Test cricket he can grab it with both hands, then he will fulfil his wishes for his cricket career and England will be a better side for it."

But the next time may not be along soon. Morgan has played 10 successive Tests and Bopara, starting his third career as a Test cricketer, should be given the same chance. There are also several young batsmen whom the selectors cannot always keep confined to the "promising but not ready" portfolio.

Bopara is not a certainty for the No 6 batting spot and Patel, who has shown himself able to handle tough situations at the crease, may be given an opportunity. Patel's attitude to training and diet has perplexed Flower and the rest of the panel, but there is no doubt that the coach rates his ability highly.

"He gets his first chance in the Test squad and will be competing for the No 6 spot with Bopara, and it gives us the option of playing a fifth bowler. In the UAE we played the combination of two quicks and two spinners on pitches conducive to spin and that proved to us that we can take 20 wickets in a Test match with that combination."

The heat and humidity in Sri Lanka are likely to be energy-sapping and England will need more than a fill-in bowler as the fifth option.

Patel could not be the second spinner in an attack of two seamers and two spinners but he could just about support Graeme Swann if the Nottinghamshire tweaker was picked alongside three pace bowlers.

England have proved themselves a formidable bowling unit in all conditions. Tredwell did not disappoint in his only Test match when he took six wickets, but bowling to Bangladesh is a slightly different opposition to having the likes of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene at the other end. Last summer, Tredwell took 42 first-class wickets for Kent in the Second Division of the County Championship.

As a capable cricketer, not a spectacular one, he has earned selection because of the perceived need for an off-spinner. Flower indicated that he would provide cover for Swann in the event of injury or illness. But if Tredwell has to be the lead spinner it could be fun.

Several of the squad will travel to Sri Lanka early to acclimatise not only to the pitches but to the weather. They may need every minute.

Three of a kind: But which one will start instead of Morgan?

Six batsmen, four bowlers

England could stick with the method they used against Pakistan (it didn't work too well, though) and simply replace Eoin Morgan at No 6 with Ravi Bopara, who can bowl.

Five bowlers (with three spinners)

Keep Bopara on the sidelines and move wicketkeeper/batsman Matt Prior up to No 6. Samit Patel, who bowls left-arm spin and is a more-than-handy bat, comes in at No 7.

Five bowlers (with three seamers)

Prior stays at No 6 and Tim Bresnan comes in at No 7, ahead of Stuart Broad at No 8, Graeme Swann at No 9, James Anderson at No 10 and Monty Panesar at No 11.

England squad

Player (county)/Age/Tests

A J Strauss (capt, Middlesex) 34/92

J M Anderson (Lancashire) 29/66

I R Bell (Warwickshire) 29/72

R S Bopara (Essex) 26/12

T T Bresnan (Yorkshire) 27/10

S C J Broad (Notts) 25/44

A N Cook (Essex) 27/75

S M Davies (Surrey) 25/0

S T Finn (Middlesex) 22/12

M S Panesar (Sussex) 29/41

S R Patel (Notts) 27/0

K P Pietersen (Surrey) 31/81

M J Prior (Sussex) 30/50

G P Swann (Notts) 32/39

J C Tredwell (Kent) 30/1

I J L Trott (Warwickshire) 30/26

Itinerary

15-17 Mar Sri Lanka Board XI (Colombo)

20-22 Mar Sri Lanka Cricket Development XI (Colombo)

26-30 Mar First Test (Galle)

3-7 Apr Second Test (Colombo)

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Sport
Brendan Rodgers is confident that Sterling will put pen to paper on a new deal at Anfield
footballLIVE: Follow all the latest from tonight's Capital One quarter-finals
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need
Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Its use is always wrong and, despite CIA justifications post 9/11, the information obtained from it is invariably tainted, argues Patrick Cockburn
Rebranding Christmas: More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence

Rebranding Christmas

More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence. They are missing the point, and we all need to grow up
A Greek island - yours for the price of a London flat

A sun-kissed island - yours for the price of a London flat

Cash-strapped Greeks are selling off their slices of paradise
Pogues could enjoy fairytale Christmas No 1 thanks to digital streaming

Pogues could enjoy fairytale Christmas No 1 thanks to digital streaming

New system means that evergreen songs could top the festive charts
Prince of Wales: Gruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence

Prince of Wales: Gruff Rhys

He is a musician of wondrous oddity. He is on a perpetual quest to seek the lost tribes of the Welsh diaspora. Just don't ask Gruff Rhys if he's a national treasure...