Morgan Missing As Marathon Tour Ends

7 02 2011

England have finally finished their tour down under and, quite honestly, not before time either. We cannot think of anyone, certainly not anyone English, who would have wanted the tour to finish over a month after the last test match. This means that some of the English players have been away from home for three months and have a matter of only five days at home before heading off to the World Cup in India for another tour that, if they are successful, will last almost two months in its entirety.

The only people that may have benefited from this extended series, the Australians, would also probably acknowledge the folly of a seven match series so close to the World Cup. They have of course regained some confidence in their own game and have had the added advantage of playing at home, yet, even for them, the benefits are not enough to justify a series of such length.

Perhaps the most telling thing for us is that we here at the Compulsive Hooker, as we are sure you all realise, are very committed cricket fans – yet in the past month we have struggled to write about it. The interest levels have not been there to the extent that, quite frankly, we could not care less who won yesterday’s game. Or the game before. Or the game before that.

Obviously this is far from a scientific survey of fans views, yet when people who would normally (and have even over the past month) sit quite happily to watch New Zealand vs Pakistan in the middle of the night cannot be bothered to watch England vs Australia – there is something seriously wrong.

The highlights of yesterdays game showed quite clearly that none of the players wanted to be there. Both sides were going through the motions with England in particular clearly not interested in being there. We won’t bother telling you what happened as we know you don’t really care…

*********

What has happened, inevitably one feels, is that six of England’s fifteen man selection for the World Cup are injured. The latest to be added to the list is the Middlesex batsman and England’s star man in the middle order, Eoin Morgan. England could probably get round losing Tim Bresnan for example, certainly Ajmal Shahzad and even Stuart Broad, yet like Graeme Swann, Morgan’s injury could be a mortal blow to English chances.

Morgan has not done much over the last month in Australia – perhaps the competitive juices he obviously thrives on were not flowing in what was, as we mentioned above, a dreary contest; or perhaps the lack of cricket over the preceding two months took its toll – yet he remains key to England’s batting. With him England believe they can win from almost any situation. Without him and suddenly the belief needed to get you over the line will sometimes fade away.

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7 02 2011

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