Morgan has ability to go all the way

There is no doubt in my mind that Eoin Morgan has what it takes to go all the way in the game. By that, of course, I mean that he can become a top-class Test match batsman as well as a limited-overs player good enough already to win match after match for England.

It will be up to Andy Flower, the England head coach, whether he can find room for Morgan to play in all four Tests against Pakistan later this summer.

Perhaps he might only play if England field six batsmen rather than five, but I am sure that Flower sees Morgan as a real long-term prospect in Test cricket as well as the one-day stuff.

Indeed, I reckon that Flower sees more than a little bit of himself in Morgan’s left-handedness, his method and his calmness and composure at the crease.

Morgan played his first two Tests against Bangladesh at the start of this summer, and did okay without going on to get a big score. In one innings, he got himself out playing at a ball away from his body, and getting an edge to the keeper.

Bowlers will try to work Morgan out in the longer form of the game, of course, and they will post a slip cordon and try to get him nicking off by pushing ball after ball across him. But, then again, they will have to get their length consistently right because Morgan – like a lot of left-handers – is a devastating cutter.

I am sure, therefore, that Flower will be working with Morgan to prepare him for the step up to Test cricket, and that he would like to give him at least a couple of Tests against the Pakistanis, who have the bowlers both fast and slow to examine Morgan’s technique at that level.

If Morgan is to go to Australia in the Ashes squad then he needs to be tested beforehand in this way, to be honest.

Morgan’s unbeaten match-winning hundred in the first of England’s five NatWest Series games against Australia was the perfect showcase of his talent for identifying what needs to be done to win a match and then executing it with the minimum of fuss.

It reminded me of an innings I saw Stephen Fleming, the former New Zealand captain, play for Middlesex back in 2001 when we were chasing down a sizeable target to beat Gloucestershire at Bristol.

Fleming worked out exactly what he had to do in each session, in terms of the runs he himself had to score as the man leading the chase, and he was totally clinical about the process.

Morgan has this same ability. In fact, I don’t think there is a better cricketer than him on the English circuit in temperament. At the crease he shows hardly any emotion, and he knows instinctively where fielders are and what he has to do to pace his innings correctly. He never seems flustered, whatever the situation.

The two players he is currently being compared to, in one-day international terms, are Michael Bevan of Australia and Neil Fairbrother of England.

Both of them were magnificent one-day batsmen, seemingly equal to any task, but neither made it at Test level and that’s where I think Morgan has the ability to achieve far more.

Yes, his technique and his aptitude for Test cricket is still up to be questioned, but he is only 23 and I believe he is the sort of person who will adjust his game to the requirements of five-day cricket.

He is intelligent and clearly a very thoughtful cricketer, and he will know that he needs to show consistency at first-class level, probably for Middlesex initially, if he is to make the next step up.

Both Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss became Test players on the back of scoring runs at one-day international level, although both of them had been far more successful and consistent at County Championship level – for Nottinghamshire and Middlesex respectively – than Morgan before they played Test cricket.

But Morgan is a very different type of cricketer to both Pietersen and Strauss. KP wants to sparkle and impress people, and Strauss is the sort who has steadily and quietly improved. Morgan, to me, is more calculating at the crease and can read a situation so well.

He never looks as if he is under pressure and he can dominate bowling attacks with almost surgical flair and range of strokes.

I will be fascinated to see what the rest of this summer holds for Eoin Morgan.

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