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Morgan eager to be put to the Test

AFP
May 25, 2010 at 11:29pm IST

London: Eoin Morgan has insisted he will have no problems adjusting to the tempo of Test cricket should he make his debut in the five-day format against Bangladesh at Lord's on Thursday.

And he even joked Brian Lara's world record score of 400 not out might be under threat, such was the Ireland-born left-hander's new-found discipline.

Best known as a fast scoring one-day and Twenty20 batsman Morgan, asked at Lord's on Tuesday if he had the patience to bat for five or six hours, replied: "I think so, certainly. I think I might get about 400 ... that wouldn't be a bad start."

Morgan eager to be put to the Test

He has insisted he will have no problems adjusting to the tempo of Test cricket.

The 23-year-old, who plays his county cricket at Lord's for Middlesex, was called up into England's squad for the first of two Tests against Bangladesh after Paul Collingwood, whom he played under as a member of England's victorious World Twenty20 side in the Caribbean, was omitted because of a shoulder injury.

Morgan has a modest first-class average of just over 36 but neither former Test batsmen Michael Vaughan nor Marcus Trescothick had great county records before they entered the Test arena and both enjoyed successful careers.

Temperament has been a watchword for the England management under national selector Geoff Miller and coach Andy Flower. And they clearly believe Morgan has what it takes to succeed at Test level.

Even so, Morgan said he was taken aback by his inclusion in a 12-man squad for the Bangladesh opener.

"It did surprise me, slightly, to get the phone call the other day," he said.

"I was over the moon too, because to get a phone call like that is every kid's dream.

"Test cricket is where I want to be, to test myself against the best."

Morgan, best known for innovative reverse sweeps, said his fundamental approach to batting would not alter were he to become a Test player.

"It's not necessarily batting in a different way. Like in one-day cricket, it is just dictating how you bat with the situation of the game.

"I think last year I was a bit ill-disciplined in my game, and my head wasn't in the right place.

"But a lot's changed since then. I've a lot of runs under my belt now and feel quite confident about my game."

He averages nearly 40 in one-day internationals and 45 in Twenty20 so it's no surprise Morgan feels ready for the challenge of Test cricket.

"Temperament is a major part of my game, and I take confidence from that - knowing I've put these performances in under pressure," he said.

"Any time I put on an England shirt, I have a point to prove. If I do play I'll be relishing the opportunity."

Morgan added the influence of former Zimbabwe batsman Flower had been a major factor in his progress."Andy Flower's pushed me quite a lot, and I think I've learned a lot over the last six months.

"He's been quite a big factor. He's been on about the basics, doing the simple things - which has helped my game massively, because it allows you to get yourself in and spend time at the crease."

Morgan's elevation came as fellow former Ireland batsman Ed Joyce, who played one-day but not Test cricket for England, announced his intention to represent the land of his birth again.

"He's out of the (England) frame at the moment and probably sees the next World Cup as a massive opportunity to go out and play a world event," Morgan said.

"I'll back his decision. He's a good friend of mine."

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