Cricket Comment: Morgan should prioritise England over IPL duties

 
Chris Tremlett
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Skipper Eoin Morgan will not face Ireland in England’s first 50-over clash since a dismal World Cup showing
In the long term it is not a massive issue but Eoin Morgan is England’s one-day captain and he should be there for his side’s first 50-over clash since their disastrous World Cup campaign, against Ireland in Dublin on 8 May.

Morgan has been given dispensation by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to continue his Indian Premier League commitments with Sunrisers Hyderabad rather than lead his country in that fixture.

In times gone by the ECB kicked up a fuss over Kevin Pietersen and his IPL commitments and, although that was a few years ago now, they appear to be showing greater leniency with Eoin.

To be fair, India is a long way for him to travel for a day’s cricket but it could be interpreted as double standards. I think there needs to be consistency across the board.

Ireland cannot be taken lightly. They probably played better cricket than England at the World Cup and should not be underestimated. It will not be a case of just turning up and winning.

England have picked an experimental squad and it’s nice to see them going down a slightly different route and selecting one-day specialists. I have long championed a call-up for powerful Surrey batsman Jason Roy. Hopefully he can replicate his white-ball form at county level and make a big name for himself. But it is important that all the new, exciting talent find their feet, take their chance and get England’s limited-overs game going in the right direction.

Since my last column, England won the second Test against the West Indies in Grenada to take a 1-0 series lead ahead of tomorrow’s third and final clash in Bridgetown, Barbados.

HUMBLE
It was great to see real fight from England on that last day on such a flat pitch. Credit to Jimmy Anderson. It’s fantastic to see him smiling again and winning games almost on his own after a poor World Cup.

England are building a good unit and it would be a real confidence boost ahead of facing much more difficult opposition in the form of New Zealand and Australia in the summer to take the series 2-0. I would be tempted to keep the same side, despite two spinners perhaps being an option depending on the pitch.

Opener Jonathan Trott has not scored a huge amount of runs but I would give him another chance, although I do feel he needs a big score in this match otherwise his place could be under threat.

Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara has hit the ground running with Surrey but it’s not just the runs. He has presence and is great for our younger players. He seems a very humble guy and has fitted in well.

To have him and KP in the dressing room is quite surreal, even for a more experienced player like myself who has played with someone like Shane Warne at Hampshire.

Talking of KP, readers may have seen that he got lost on the train network the other day and needed to be rescued by his wife. He took the train again yesterday and couldn’t get a seat so was getting a bit of stick from commuters by all accounts. He is used to private jets and business class travel so standing up on a train is alien territory. But rest assured, it was not just the commuters giving him stick.

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