Home > Features >

Eoin Morgan’s crafty ton in 2nd ODI against Australia will add weight to his Test credentials

Eoin Morgan followed up his 78 in the first ODI, with a brilliant 108 in the second © Getty Images
Eoin Morgan followed up his 78 in the first ODI, with a brilliant 108 in the second © Getty Images

By Shrikant Shankar

Eoin Morgan scored a splendid century under extreme pressure against Australia in the second One-Day International (ODI) in Melbourne. Despite his efforts, England lost by one wicket and went 2-0 down in the five-match series. This was mainly down to James Faulkner’s heroics with the bat. England were better in this match, they are still winless [in international encounters] in their tour of Australia. And this speaks volumes of their current plight. It must also be noted that some of the better performers for England in the match were not part of the 0-5 drubbing in the Ashes.

In many ways, if a team has fresh faces, it does help them to achieve better results after enduring such results. Morgan, though, part of the England setup for many years now, was not amongst those who were whitewashed by a resurgent Australia. Coming in at No 5, with the score at 78 for three, Morgan stitched a 61-run partnership with opener Ian Bell for the fourth wicket in Brisbane at The Gabba. The partnership was just a repair work and tried to build some sort of foundation as the run-rate was only 4.81.

Bell departed for a well-made 68 off 84 deliveries as Ravi Bopara walked in. Bopara and Morgan started to build a solid stand. Their stay together yielded 39 runs at 5.44 runs. England had lost half their side and all was set for the Australian bowlers to bowl them out cheaply. But Jos Buttler and Morgan had other ideas. What the crowd at the Gabba witnessed was counter-attacking batting at its best. The duo smacked all the bowlers to all areas of the big ground. Fours and sixes were struck with ease and England were able to post a strong total.

Morgan scored only his sixth ODI century but this was one of his finest. It had the hallmarks of all great centuries — from building an innings, to finishing it off in style. Morgan added 117 runs with Buttler for the sixth wicket at an incredible run-rate of 10.32. Buttler fell one short of a deserved half-century. He struck three fours and one six. Morgan, on the other hand, smashed four fours and six sixes. In the end, Morgan was dismissed for 106 off 99 balls. His innings helped England to 300 for eight. It looked good enough as Australia were at 244 for nine, but thanks to Faulkner, they won by a nail-biting one-wicket margin.

Australia also had an 80-run stand between Glenn Maxwell and Brad Haddin before Faulkner displayed his outstanding batting abilities. For Morgan though, the innings came after he scored 50 in the first ODI. So, his form seems to be on the up and that is important from England’s point-of-view. He was touted as England’s next big thing once he shifted allegiances from Ireland. He has played 16 Tests for England, but has not lived up to the potential. His last Test for England was in February 2012. England were a different force back then and could afford to keep him as cover.

Now after a massive loss at the hands of old rivals Australia, things need to be changed. Morgan is only 27 years old and has ample time on his side. England’s next Test assignments are away to West Indies and at home against Sri Lanka. Morgan showed that he can craft a wonderful century in ODIs and needs to be shown more confidence in Tests. These two series are the perfect time to utilise his skills and ability to try and get him attuned to the five-day format. After that, England host India in a mega five-match Test series.

Morgan needs to be a part of that squad and has to be looked at as a genuine Test player going into the future. He has what it takes to make it big in Test cricket, and for that he needs to be given the right opportunities.

(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Bristol

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (00:00 IST)   at Basseterre, St Kitts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Hambantota

India tour of England 2014

Aug 27, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Cardiff

More

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 23, 2014  at Hambantota

Pak won by 4 wkts (D/L method)

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 22, 2014  at St George's, Grenada

West Indies won by 177 runs

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 21, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 20, 2014  at St George's, Grenada

West Indies won by 3 wkts

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 19, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 61 runs

Photos

England Women vs India Women 2014, 1st ODI at Scarborough

Videos

Morgan talks upcoming ODI series and World Cup

Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2014: 1st ODI Highlights

Virat Kohli’s knock against Middlesex could be start of his resurgence ahead of ODIs against England

India vs England 2014: Alastair Cook, MS Dhoni, pigeons and pressures — the demands on cricket captains

England Women vs India Women Live Cricket Score, 2nd ODI at Scarborough: England beat India by 13 runs

Stephen Fleming: New Zealand tour to England in 1999 is one of my best moments

England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 West Indies

Andrew Flintoff claims wicket with first ball as he features in T20 Blast final for Lancashire

England Women beat India Women by 13 runs as Charlotte Edwards, Jenny Gunn shine in 2nd ODI at Scarborough

Rajasthan could miss out on playing in the upcoming Indian domestic season

Virat Kohli may be the brand ambassador of ISL’s Goa franchise

IS Bindra’s career in cricket administration comes to an end

Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2014: 1st ODI Highlights

Virat Kohli’s knock against Middlesex could be start of his resurgence ahead of ODIs against England

India vs England 2014: Alastair Cook, MS Dhoni, pigeons and pressures — the demands on cricket captains

When Devon Malcolm made South Africa ‘history’

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014: Younis Khan’s ODI comeback brings hope to Pakistan

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

660 Posts | 6 Fans

Funny Cricket Wonders and Blunders

Imran Khan adamant on Sharif`s resignation

Low intensity blast in Kolhapur, terror angle ruled out

Emraan Hashmi to watch Raja Natwarlal with auto drivers!

Asus Zenfone 4 – A450CG with 4.5-inch display to take on the Xiaomi Redmi 1S, pre-bookings go live on Flipkart at midnight priced at Rs 6,999

Flipkart to launch an Intel-powered Android tablet on August 27

Chelsea vs Leicester City Match Report: The Blues’ Class prevails

Birmingham vs Lancashire Live Cricket Score, T20 Blast Final: Flintoff strikes with first ball

Bipasha Basu to appear on Comedy Nights with Kapil’s special episode in Dubai!

iPhone 6 will break all global sale records, here’s why

Latest Ebola News: UN pledges to support fight against Ebola in West Africa

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here