Testing times for Morgan

  • By: Simon Crawford
  • Last Updated: April 18 2014, 1:16 BST

Eoin Morgan is out to prove once and for all that he has what it takes to be a regular in England's Test side.

Eoin Morgan: Wants to be a Test regular
Eoin Morgan: Wants to be a Test regular

The 27-year-old Dublin-born batsman has established himself in both one-day and Twenty20 internationals, but question marks still remain about his credentials in the five-day format.

Morgan has three 50s and two centuries in the 16 Tests he has played in, but it has not been enough to retain his place and the last time he played was back in 2012.

But he signalled his intent by opting not to play in this season's Indian Premier League in order to concentrate on getting runs for Middlesex in the County Championship and catch the eye of the England selectors.

"I don't want to be known as just a limited-overs player - I definitely have the hunger and desire to play more Test cricket for England," he told sportinglife.com.

"My two Test centuries are the highlights of my career because Test cricket is the pinnacle for any player and I love being part of it.

"There's a lot of cricket to play between now and the start of the first Test in June and all I'm looking to do is to score runs for Middlesex. If I can do that and get myself into some kind of form then hopefully I will get the call."

With Kevin Pietersen having been pushed into international retirement, there is a gap to fill in England's middle order and with a new coach set to be named Morgan is one of many players who are hoping they will get their chance.

However, his season got off to the worst possible start when he was bowled first ball by Sussex's Jon Lewis and only made two in the second innings.

But better was to come this week against Nottinghamshire at Lord's as he scored a fluent 86 to help his side to an emphatic win.

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"I haven't been thinking too much about about the England coach situation as there's nothing I can do about it," said Morgan.

"It is a process that is timely and a decision which cannot be taken lightly so I can understand why the ECB have taken their time in sorting it out.

"I'm just looking at getting as many runs as I can to catch the eye of whoever it is that gets the job."

One of the players being widely tipped for an England call-up is Morgan's Middlesex team-mate Sam Robson.

The 24-year-old did his hopes no harm with a sparkling 163 against Notts and Morgan believes the Australian-born opener will make the breakthrough.

"I haven't been around to see Sam score all of his runs, but I know he is an exceptional talent," he said.

"He has great maturity and class so I think he has a very strong case."

Morgan was part of the England T20 side that suffered an early exit from the recent World Cup in Bangladesh, which ended with a shock loss to Holland.

However, he insists there were still plenty of plus points despite losing three of their four matches.

"Certainly there were a lot of positives and good signs for the future," he said.

"We lost to New Zealand on Duckworth-Lewis and to South Africa by three runs so they could have gone either way. But we beat Sri Lanka who went on to win the competition.

"There are some very talented players in the squad who will have learned plenty from the experience of playing in a world cup."

England's domestic T20 competition, newly named as the NatWest T20 Blast, was launched at Edgbaston on Thursday with most games this season taking place on a Friday night.

"Twenty20 in England seems to be going from strength-to-strength and I think every player is excited to be part of it," said Morgan.

"We start off with a double-header against Essex and Sussex at Lord's and what an occasion that will be - a big crowd and a great atmosphere. It's the 'home of cricket' and playing there is different to playing anywhere else.

"I think we can have a really good go at it this season, especially if Steven Finn plays in the majority of games, but it's a wide-open competition and very difficult to pick a winner."

Eoin Morgan was speaking ahead of the start of the NatWest T20 Blast season. Blast off is Friday, May 16 - tickets can be purchased from www.ecb.co.uk/natwestt20blast


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