Eoin Morgan says England’s priority in South Africa ODI series is to give youth a chance | Cricket News

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Watch the third and final ODI between South Africa and England, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 7.30am on Sunday

Last Updated: 08/02/20 7:18am


Legspinner Matt Parkinson is one of the youngsters given a chance in South Africa, making his ODI debut

Eoin Morgan says that giving international experience to young members of their squad, who could represent England for the next decade, is more of a priority than how they fare in the ODI series against South Africa.

England have rested established stars Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Mark Wood – all of whom will return for the subsequent three-match T20I series – while Jofra Archer was ruled out injured.

Fellow World Cup winners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali are part of England’s squad but have not featured in the opening defeat at Cape Town or the rain-abandoned game in Durban.

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The best of the action from a rain-affected second ODI between South Africa and England in Durban

The best of the action from a rain-affected second ODI between South Africa and England in Durban

With two T20 World Cups in the next 18 months, it is that format that is at the forefront of Morgan’s mind, even though the visitors need a victory in the final ODI on Sunday in order to avoid a first ODI bilateral series defeat in three years.

“If [Moeen and Rashid] do come back it won’t be to play our strongest team, it might be to get them some cricket under their belt,” said Morgan.

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“We don’t have a T20 warm-up game, our priority is T20 cricket and those two guys come into contention for our best XI. If they do play then that will be the reason behind it, not because we want to level the series.

“There’s a couple of things about this tour where we’re looking to know more about people and present opportunity.

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England opener Jason Roy chats to Rob Key and Ian Ward about the power and speed of the modern-day batsman

England opener Jason Roy chats to Rob Key and Ian Ward about the power and speed of the modern-day batsman

“Yes, we want to win but we also want to know a lot more about other guys come the end of the tour with a longer-term plan in place.

“I think it gives them a platform to stake their claim for T20 and 50-over cricket because we’ve identified them as being the future and future potential England cricketers for the next 10 years.

“It’s not about immediate results, it’s about investing time in those guys.”

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Back together again! James Anderson and Sir Alastair Cook join our coverage of the third ODI in Johannesburg on Sunday

Back together again! James Anderson and Sir Alastair Cook join our coverage of the third ODI in Johannesburg on Sunday

Only 11.2 overs were possible in the second ODI at Durban, with South Africa – who won by seven wickets at Newlands on Tuesday – reaching 71-2 in two brief windows of play.

Ultimately, the rain had the final say after 11.2 overs, but not before Joe Root had bowled South Africa captain Quinton De Kock – centurion in the opening game – for the second time in two matches.

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The best of the action from the first ODI between South Africa and England at Newlands in Cape Town

The best of the action from the first ODI between South Africa and England at Newlands in Cape Town

“Joe’s an underrated bowler, we certainly know that,” Morgan added. “When he’s classed as a part-timer sometimes, it doesn’t do him justice but he certainly does a great job for us.”

Morgan was speaking a day after England announced Archer would be sidelined for three months with a low grade stress fracture of his right elbow.

Archer was a star performer in the World Cup and Ashes before enduring a more challenging first winter on England duty, and Morgan feels an enforced absence could be a blessing in disguise for the paceman.

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Eoin Morgan says England had ‘no excuses’ after suffering a seven-wicket defeat to South Africa in the first ODI in Cape Town

Eoin Morgan says England had ‘no excuses’ after suffering a seven-wicket defeat to South Africa in the first ODI in Cape Town

“Jofra hasn’t had a serious injury for some time now and I don’t think this is a major issue,” said Morgan.

“It allows him time – particularly when it’s in his elbow – both to spend some time at home and get away from the game but also recondition exactly what he’s built to do.

“We play a lot of cricket and stepping back from it sometimes, you reap the rewards and the benefits later down the line.”

Watch the third and final ODI between South Africa and England live on Sky Sports Cricket this Sunday from 7.30am.



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