MAVERICK batsman Kevin Pietersen insists one-day skipper Eoin Morgan is fully justified in continuing his Indian Premier League commitments rather than captaining England against Ireland in Dublin today.
England will be led by Nottinghamshire’s James Taylor in Morgan’s absence in a clash which represents England’s first 50-over match since their catastrophic World Cup meltdown and group stage exit in March.
Morgan struck 63 from 28 balls as Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Rajasthan Royals in Mumbai yesterday, and Pietersen believes it is that level of exposure to top-level exponents of the one-day game that England have been lacking.
“This might sound controversial and I’m not one to mix my words but he’s playing in the Indian Premier League and he’s surrounded by superstars,” said Pietersen.
“This is benefitting his game. I know he’s under a lot of pressure because he’s not playing in Malahide, but I prefer seeing Eoin Morgan doing this in the IPL.”
England could field as many as seven debutants in an experimental side, with the backdrop to the fixture being the future of under-pressure head coach Peter Moores following the World Cup and drawn Test series in the West Indies.
“It’s an important game for everybody, not just Peter Moores,” said Taylor. “The whole team are right behind him.”