Eoin Morgan proves he is the man for the Ashes challenge
Eoin Morgan’s match-winning century agasinst Australia at The Rose Bowl yesterday should have booked his place at this winter’s Ashes.
The Irishman was calmness personified as he hit 16 boundaries in just 85 balls to guide England home.
Morgan has rapidly established himself as one of the finest limited overs cricketers in the world since his switch from the Emerald Isle last year.
And despite failing to make an impact in his two tests against Bangladesh last month, Morgan clearly set out his big game potential yesterday.
English cricketers’ stocks trade almost solely on meetings with the old enemy.
Andrew Flintoff, a fine player with a modest test record, will be remembered as an English great largely thanks to his heroics in 2005, while the stalwarts of the 1990’s, Stewart and Atherton, will have failure forever etched against their names.
England only has to look to their current test number five, Paul Collingwood for an example of what runs against the Australians can do.
Collingwood was a county player with a modest record when he first played for England but a throwaway comment on his temperament from Steve Waugh convinced the selectors he was worth persevering with.
He too was pockmarked as a one day specialist, but through sheer bloody-mindedness the Durham man installed himself as arguably the most indispensible part of England’s batting order.
Collingwood is a vastly different player to Morgan.
The Middlesex left-hander is infinitely more talented and bats at a different tempo but the raw ingredients are there.
Unless one of England’s current top six suffers injury or drastic loss of form between now and November, Morgan still seems destined for a watching brief.
But should the frail Ian Bell or Alistair Cook start to struggle, Flower and Strauss should feel comfortable introducing a world champion who knows how to beat Australia.
And for an English cricketer, that is what it is all about.