WC spots up for grabs in ODI series: Morgan; Kohli calls for player power in scheduling - GulfToday

WC spots up for grabs in ODI series: Morgan; Kohli calls for player power in scheduling


England’s players attend a training session on the eve of their first ODI against India. Reuters

England captain Eoin Morgan wants his players to prove their credentials for the World Cup spot in ODI series against India while Virat Kohli warned of burn out due to a jam-packed calendar.

But Morgan and coach Chris Silverwood say the tour is still providing valuable lessons about the tough conditions in the country where the T20 World Cup will be staged in October-November. And more will be learned from the ODIs in Pune, said to the captain.

“Given the World Cup round the corner, playing any international cricket at all is a huge opportunity for guys who have been on the fringes and not made selection so far,” Morgan told reporters.

The 50-over games will be an “important building block for our squad”.

Apart from the loss of injured fast bowler Jofra Archer, the ODI squad is little different to the T20 selection.

But Morgan said Sam Billings, Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali will all be in contention for a place in the team to be announced ahead of the first match.

England are reigning 50-over champions and Morgan said they must prove their worth on the hard, dusty wickets.

“The challenge for us is always trying to explore and push the limits as much as we can given the conditions,” said Morgan.

“In conditions that are little bit alien to us naturally, like India, it’s always nice to get out of your comfort zone and learn more about your team and your players to try and make mistakes and learn from them.”

Joe Root’s England also lost to India in the four-Test series and Morgan insisted that an ODI victory would not compensate for the earlier losses.

“You don’t always have to win every series in order to win a World Cup. You continuously need to get better, need to be tested as a side, need to fail in order to learn. That involves losing, which isn’t fun but it is part of the journey.”

All-rounder Ben Stokes will be back in the ODI team after playing the hero’s role in the World Cup win against New Zealand at Lord’s in July 2019.

Morgan said having Stokes back in ODI colours is always a boost.

“It’s great to have him back. Any opportunity we have to get him in a white-ball game, which has been few and far between, is brilliant,” said Morgan of the key player.

“I think he really enjoys his white-ball cricket and it’s important to keep him engaged with that.

“If you don’t play a format for a long time, it can show a bit of neglect in certain parts of the game and we know how demanding the rest of the formats are, both on his body and his mind so it’s great to have him round.”

Kohli on Monday said players should be consulted over the cricket calender as the extended bubble life during the coronavirus pandemic has strengthened fears of burnout.

Living in a bubble life for over a long period of time with three consecutive series against England, prompted Kohli’s fears of players’ mental health. After playing Test  and Twenty20 series, India  gear up for a three-match ODI series  Kohli said more attention must be paid to cricketers’ mental health.

“The players need to be spoken to and consulted with all round,” said Kohli.

“Otherwise it’s going to be a case of whoever can last through difficult times like this plays, if not then move away and someone else replaces that player.”

He added, “I don’t think that’s healthy for a cricket system and cricket culture moving forward which we definitely want to make stronger and stronger.”

Responding to suggestions that the 50-over games were out of place in a year dominated by the World Test Championship final and the T20 World Cup, Kohli said tournament scheduling “is something that is not in our control.”


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