London: England batsman Eoin Morgan is gearing up for his return to the side with a nine-day batting camp in India this month as part of the England Performance Programme. Morgan, 25, had been ruled out of England's five-match ODI tour of India last month, after it was confirmed by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that he needed surgery to correct a long-standing shoulder problem.
"The shoulder's good, and I've been back training about three weeks now with Middlesex," Morgan told a cricket website. "I've been doing my rehab work with it, so I'm hoping to be fit in three or four weeks' time, which then allows us a three-week cushion over Christmas and New Year ahead of the Pakistan series. I've been out for nearly three months, so I've got that cricket bug back now."
Morgan's absence was a big blow to England - who lost 5-0 - on the slow and spin-friendly tracks of India, where his ability to create and work gaps in the field would have been invaluable. While he did not feel his absence left "a big hole in the side", Morgan looked forward to the camp in India, which will focus extensively on enhancing England's footwork against spin bowling.
"We were really tested while we were away, and from the outside looking in, I felt we lacked a bit of composure and experience at certain times during the innings, and throughout the games," he said. "But we've got a young side looking to build on a successful summer, and one series defeat isn't going to peg us back too far, I don't think."
"When you're doing badly you can take any part of your game and over-analysis it," he added. "The important part [in India] was that we didn't get enough runs, and didn't bowl well in certain parts. So it's a broader range of cricket that we'll be looking to develop on this trip. And for me, having been out of cricket for a while, it's all about hitting volumes of balls. I'm really looking forward to it."
The EPP trio will be supervised by the ECB's lead batting coach, Graham Thorpe, and will also involve Test specialists Andrew Strauss and wicket-keeper Matt Prior. England play Pakistan for a full Test and ODI series in the UAE in January.