England captain Eoin Morgan will the last two ODIs of the three-match series against India after he sustained a split webbing between his thumb and index finger during the first ODI on Tuesday, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Thursday.
Sam Billings, who sustained a bruised collar bone while fielding in the first ODI, will be unavailable for the second ODI with his participation in the final game to be decided in due course. Liam Livingstone will make his debut on Friday in the second ODI, ECB said, and Dawid Malan, who was in the squad as a cover, will be available for selection in the final two games. Jos Buttler will lead the England side in Morgan’s absence.
Morgan went through a fielding drill on Thursday at the MCA Stadium in Pune, the venue for all three ODIs, and declared himself unfit.
“I had the hand re-dressed before the start of training today but it quickly became apparent that I found myself protecting the injury and getting into the wrong positions to catch the ball,” ECB’s website quoted Morgan as saying.”There’s nowhere to hide on the field in international cricket these days, especially in limited-over formats so it didn’t require any great thought to make myself unavailable.
“It was a freak injury and it’s extremely frustrating but there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s now just a case of letting the cut heal. I have every confidence in Jos and the rest of the squad coping without me.”While Livingstone is guaranteed a debut, Malan could come into the XI as a like-for-like replacement for Morgan in the second ODI.
England will play to save the series on Friday after having lost the first game by 66 runs.The final match of the series will be played on March 28.