Eoin Morgan opts out of Indian Premier League

Middlesex batsman Eoin Morgan, who has developed a reputation as something of a limited overs specialist in recent seasons, has decided to withdraw his name from the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, that is scheduled to take place on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

Dublin-born Morgan, who lost his England Test match place, after a disastrous tour to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last winter, when he struggled, as did most of his team mates, against the Pakistan spin attack, on pitches they offered excessive assistance to the slow bowlers.

After England’s struggles in Australia during the winter, when they lost the Ashes Test series by 5-0, Morgan has decided that there is now an opportunity for him to force his way back into the Test side.

With the future of Jonathan Trott as a Test match player in doubt, following his mental health problems, the dropping of Kevin Pietersen, and the struggles of many other players during the Aussie whitewash, Morgan night well be correct about his chances of making a comeback.

Morgan’s withdraw from the IPL, will allow him to concentrate on playing county championship cricket for Middlesex in the early part of the English summer, when, if he can make sufficient runs to impress the selectors, despite not having played Test cricket for two years, he will hope to fill the spot in the England Test line up, left vacant by the dropping of Pietersen, in the series against Sri Lanka and India. His overall record in Test match cricket is disappointing for someone with so much undoubted talent, and has led to his being considered a limited overs player. Despite two Test centuries, he has managed to total just 700 runs in his 16 Tests, at an average of only a fraction over 30.

During the last English season, because of his overseas commitments, and his involvement with the England limited overs side, Morgan made just two championship appearances for Middlesex, during which he scored 96 runs at an average of 32. The county will no doubt be happy about the player’s decision, as they are likely to see a lot more of him, even if he does earn a recall to the Test set up.

In the last IPL season, in 2013, Morgan turned out for the Kolkata Knight Riders, and posted 307 runs in 14 matches. While the figures may not look remarkable, he often found himself batting down the order, and coming in with little or no time to play himself in, and in a position where he was forced to try and up the run rate from the first ball he faced. Although Morgan will not be a part of the auction, other English players, such as Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Ravi Bopara will all be hoping to secure lucrative contracts.

Rajeev mcallister
Sports Pundit staff writer

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