Morgan dropped for Sri Lanka tour

Tue, 28 Feb 08:31:00 2012

Eoin Morgan has been dropped by England for the Test series in Sri Lanka, with James Tredwell and Samit Patel surprise selections in his absence.

Eoin Morgan England Pakistan UAE - 0

Batsman Morgan has paid the price for a dismal tour against Pakistan in the UAE with the Middlesex batsman struggling in all three formats.

Morgan's omission was largely expected after a horrid six weeks where he made 184 runs in 13 international innings at an average of just 13.66 across the Tests, one-day internationals and Twenty20s.

It is Ravi Bopara who is likely to benefit most from Morgan's absence this time, with a chance to resume his Test career after encouraging form in the one-day series against Pakistan.

England coach Andy Flower believes Morgan requires time to iron out some flaws in his technique, but has tipped him to bounce back.

He said: "He's had a tough tour of the UAE, we've been here for two months and it's been hard work for him. He has got some work to do I think on his Test game - that's going to be quite difficult for him considering his next cricket is going to be IPL cricket.

"When he comes back he'll have limited exposure to opportunities to get four-day cricket under his belt, so he has got to go away and give some serious thought to his method in Test cricket.

"He has been severely tested out there by the Pakistan spinners, as have all our batsmen. I still think he has a very exciting future in Test cricket, he's only 25 years old and he's a very talented player, a very confident player and a very dangerous player.

"If he can get his game in order - so that the next time he gets a game in Test cricket he can grab it with both hands - then he will fulfil his wishes for his cricket career and England will be a better side for it."

National selector Geoff Miller added: "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."

"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 subcontinent."

Spinner Tredwell was a surprise inclusion, while Patel impressed in the one-day series win over Pakistan and had been widely touted for a place on the tour.

Tredwell is the most unexpected selection in the 16-man squad for two Tests in Galle and Colombo. He played his one previous Test against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2010.

England will take four spinners on the tour next month after handing a first Test call-up to Patel, whose persistent omission from the Test squad has been put down to fitness concerns in the past.

Given the conditions in Sri Lanka - which will be conducive to spin bowling - England's squad is not entirely unexpected, although Tredwell had been thought to have drifted from the reckoning.

Meanwhile, the fit-again Tim Bresnan could also be recalled at number seven with Matt Prior moving up one place if conditions demand five frontline bowlers.

The first Test starts in Galle on March 26 with the second Test in Colombo beginning on April 3.

England Squad to tour Sri Lanka

Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Samit Patel, Matt Prior, Steven Davies, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Steven Finn, James Tredwell, Monty Panesar

Dan Quarrell - Twitter @Dan_Eurosport / Eurosport

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