(Reuters) – Middle order batsman Eoin Morgan paid the price for a string of low scores as he was dropped from England’s squad named yesterday for the two-test series against Sri Lanka starting next month.
Morgan scored just 82 runs at an average of 13.66 in six innings as the world’s top-ranked test side were outplayed by Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, losing the series 3-0.
In the subsequent one-day internationals, which England won 4-0, Morgan fared only marginally better, notching 66 runs with a highest score of 25 not out.
The 25-year-old has played 16 tests since making his debut against Bangladesh in 2010.
All rounder Samit Patel, a regular in England’s one-day team, was added to the test squad for the first time, while off spinner James Tredwell, who played his only previous test in 2010, was recalled.
“He (Morgan) needs to go away and work on his test technique… that will be quite difficult for him at this moment because he is going straight to the IPL (Indian Premier League),” national selector Geoff Miller told Sky Sports News.
“But I’m sure he will be wanting to re-establish his career back in the test arena and he’s a strong enough character to do that.
“It’s not an excuse culture that we’re in with this England team, we have to make the decisions on certain players and certain areas and we wanted to cover the spin options as well as the batting options, so he missed out because we needed to try somebody else as well.
“Ravi (Bopara) has got an opportunity to fight for the batting spot with Samit Patel, who has shown a lot of promise.”
Paceman Tim Bresnan, who missed the Pakistan series with an elbow injury, returned to the squad with Graham Onions, called in as cover in the UAE, omitted.
“We have selected a squad that we feel will be able to make best use of the conditions we are likely to encounter in Sri Lanka,” Miller added.
“There is no doubt that this test series will be a challenging one but it is exciting that players have an opportunity to demonstrate that they have learnt from the disappointment of the Pakistan test series and can make further strides in developing the skills needed to succeed on the sub-continent.” The first test starts in Galle on March 26 with the second test in Colombo beginning on April 3.
Squad: Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Matt Prior, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Ravi Bopara, Steven Finn, Samit Patel, James Tredwell, Tim Bresnan, Steven Davies, Monty Panesar