It was a brave decision for limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan to opt out of England’s tour to Bangladesh on security grounds, but while a big deal is being made of it now I believe it will be business as usual when he returns to the fold.
Lancashire’s Jos Buttler, who will deputise as skipper in Morgan’s absence, has already said that he and opener Alex Hales, who has also chosen not to travel, remain part of the group and that’s how I believe it will pan out.
As a squad, you’d hope it was a case of all in it together, and maybe a few players might privately question the decision, but I can’t see there being a widespread loss of regard for Morgan or any lasting damage.
You cannot really fault his captaincy, given the results England have had under his stewardship, particularly in the past 15 months or so, and I’m sure all the guys in that dressing room respect him as a player and as a leader.
It also helps that England are playing against a side in Bangladesh that they ought to beat fairly comfortably, and it’s also a short three-match series.
It can be argued that Morgan is risking his place in the side – his form has been up and down – but I expect he will go straight back into the team for the one-day clashes against India in January.
The absence of Morgan and Hales does present an opportunity for others to play. Jonny Bairstow has been in great nick with the bat but has not always got the nod in one-day cricket.
Bairstow is likely to get a run in the middle order and Kent’s Sam Billings is another fantastic one-day player, who has done well for England but hasn’t been able to nail down a spot given the form of others.
I think the selectors will be consistent and pick those two, although Northamptonshire batsman Ben Duckett’s form has been unbelievable this summer and I would be surprised if he’s not on the plane to Bangladesh. Whether he plays is a different matter.
It’s perfectly plausible that Moeen Ali or Buttler could be promoted to open the batting, while there is also James Vince, who endured a tough Test summer and was left out of the most recent one-day series. England have options.
The loss of Morgan also provides Buttler the opportunity to dip his toe into international captaincy. Buttler is a quiet character by nature but a fierce competitor on the pitch. He will command respect.
The England squads for the Bangladesh tour are announced on Firday and I would still like to see Ian Bell earn a Test recall. Bell remains a class act and at the age of 34 he’s still young compared to the likes of Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara, who played until he was nearly 40.
Finally, I would like to wish my former club Surrey good luck for their One-Day Cup final against Warwickshire at Lord’s on Saturday. I know how disappointed they were to lose last year’s final – I have a good feeling this time around.