Olly Stone
Olly Stone (AFP Photo)

Eoin Morgan is highly impressed with pacer Olly Stone who he felt has ended England’s search for a like-for-like replacement of Liam Plunkett.

Stone is the latest addition to England’s one-day setup as they fine-tune their preparation for the World Cup next year. It took the Warwickshire paceman just seven deliveries to take his maiden ODI wicket. In all, in the rain-affected second ODI against Sri Lanka, he bowled six overs for 23 runs and a wicket. England took a 1-0 lead in the five-match series after a 31-run win (DLS).

The depth in their limited-overs setup means a lot of cricketers who could be playing international cricket regularly have to warm the benches and wait for their chances.

“It is unfortunate, but when a side is doing well it tends to be the case that guys are sitting out who would be in any other team,” Morgan said. “Due to the success of the team it’s unfortunate they miss out.”

Stone, with his impressive pace, has made a strong case for himself to be Plunkett’s replacement should the bowler be out with an injury.

“To be honest there hasn’t been a huge amount of depth in one position and that’s replacing Liam Plunkett. He’s been phenomenal for us for the last few years and he went down in Australia and we found it very difficult to get a bowler with the same attributes – to bowl quick and change the pace of the game at any stage of the 50 overs.

“There were signs today suggest Olly could be one of those guys. Even taking the new ball gives him a new string to his bow. Liam doesn’t really do that. I don’t think you can disregard Olly from the World Cup based on today,” Morgan said.

Morgan also praised the returning Chris Woakes who ‘set the tone’ with a wicket in the first over of Sri Lanka innings allowing newbie Stone to settle. Woakes finished with figures of 3/26 from five overs.

“Woakes has been doing quite a lot, and goes overlooked a lot of the time. He really set the tone, he made a relaxing impression early on for Olly to come in and do exactly what he does. Olly bowled exactly like he has in the nets and warm-up and that’s a really good sign. He had pace, got the ball moving. It was all done with a calm head,” he said.