Hurling away Eoin Morgan?

There’s nothing like a complete gubbing from what should have been a winning position to provoke a bout of soul searching in English cricket (see post Headingley ’09 – drop everyone! Bring back Trescothick! Bring back Ramps!).

So, in the spirit of the media autopsy into what went wrong, we decided to take a wild swing at Eoin Morgan, which is ironic really, as that’s what he’s spent the series doing.

The sheer awfulness of yesterday precludes any serious analysis by us of what could be done better. Partly because the “learn how to hit a spinning ball” answer is so obvious, but especially as my preferred option yesterday lunchtime was the emotionally disengaged and calm one of suggesting taking Morgan’s test career out the back of the pavilion and shooting it.

Actually, with only one test to go, there seems little point ditching Morgan. The only replacement on the tour is Bopara, who had a fairly desperate time against the Indian spinners last autumn, and seems doomed to be filed as another, less talented, Ramprakash; able to bully county attacks to desperation, but unable to bring that form to the international game. Ever. Both appear to share the mental fortitude of a particularly limp marshmallow when faced with decent bowling. Bopara has flattered to deceive for years, and the justification of including him because his bowling is marginally above average from that of most top order batsmen is like choosing a Kia over a Ferrari purely because it’s got more cup-holders. We here at TGECF would love dear Ravi to prove us wrong, but let’s just say we’re not going to put a house, or indeed three, on it.

Morgan’s indifferent start to his Test career must be a bit galling both for him and the management. He’s utterly brilliant in one day cricket and is one of the few England players to resemble a professional sportsman, rather than a rabbit transfixed by an enormous lorry’s headlights, in the shorter forms of the game. He has the same reassuring feel here that Trott has in Tests, only much more preferable to watching grey paint dry in slow motion.

We’re off to Sri Lanka in March, where having a batsman at 6 who can score lots of runs following the inevitable spin induced collapse would be really rather handy, so if he can avoid another disaster there should still be a place for Morgan in the side. As the Lankans don’t actually have a spinner who’s any good, the chances of England not falling apart are a hell of a lot better than against an Ajmal inspired Pakistan. Here’s hoping anyway, we’re not spending another Saturday morning watching them mow at thin air from behind the sofa.

Should he fail though, either in Dubai or in Sri Lanka, it might be time to send him off to play some domestic first class stuff where, in an ideal world, he’ll learn what to leave outside off. Please.

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