Eoin Morgan has been included in an England Test squad for the first time after excelling in the shorter formats. However, his first-class average is 36 – and that with a lot of second division cricket. Is he good enough to make runs in Test cricket?
We tend to think he is.
Can he cope with Test bowling?
Yep, although we’ll have to see how he copes when bowlers bounce the shit out of him, which is the first thing a Test team should do with any batsman who is seen as being a one-day specialist. Bangladesh won’t do this, so we’ll have to wait for Pakistan’s arrival later in the summer for our answers here.
Is he patient enough for a Test innings?
This is harder to gauge. He does have a double hundred in first-class cricket, but his average is pretty piss-poor. From what we’ve seen, he’s a batsman who always plays the situation, which is a good sign. He doesn’t just bat, he adapts. In the longer format, we reckon he’ll set himself for hundreds.
Does he have the right character and attitude?
You can’t fault Eoin Morgan on that score. This is why he’s in the Test squad. Judging by how successful he’s been for England, it seems like he might switch-on when he’s on the bigger stage. Perhaps he struggles to find motivation in the second division of the County Championship. We can’t even find the motivation to read the scores, so we’d understand that.
The King Cricket verdict
We’re definitely in favour. We’ve seen enough ordinary-looking batsmen scoring runs in Test cricket where technically accomplished batsmen have foundered to believe that it’s what’s in your ‘ead as counts. Eoin Morgan’s ‘ead is full of fist-pumping victories as far as we can tell.
Some cricketers are crippled by nerves. Others find they need nerves to get them going. We’d put Eoin Morgan in the second camp.