England Stick With Morgan For First Sri Lanka Test

England Stick With Morgan For First Sri Lanka Test
England Stick With Morgan For First Sri Lanka Test
©Action Images / Lee Mills Livepic

The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have kept faith with Ashes tourist Eoin Morgan, handing him a likely starting spot for Thursday's first Test against Sri Lanka in Cardiff.

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Morgan jetted back from the Indian Premier League to make his first appearance of the season and marked it by scoring 193 against the touring Sri Lankans in Derby for the England Lions.

In a game that was viewed by many as a shootout between himself, Ravi Bopara and outsider James Hildreth for the number six batting spot available due to the retirement of Paul Collingwood, Morgan impressed while Bopara, who has scored more than 500 first-class runs this year having turned down an opportunity to return to the IPL, was unable to score heavily.

With Tim Bresnan unavailable due to a calf injury, the selectors have picked Steven Finn to join likely starters James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Tremlett as their pace bowlers.

Graeme Swann is named as the only spinner in the squad with England resisting the tempation to pick two spinners for Cardiff, as they did two years ago when they opened the Ashes series there against Australia.

“We are very excited to be back playing cricket on home soil and are focussed on building on the momentum we gained during the Ashes last winter which was testament to the hard work that everyone involved put into the series," national selector Geoff Miller said.

“We currently have a talented and ambitious group of players who are committed to becoming the number one ranked side in Test cricket and we are determined to start an important summer strongly beginning against Sri Lanka in Cardiff.

“We believe we have selected a very strong squad for the first Test. Eoin Morgan impressed us last summer when he was given his opportunity in the Test side and has worked hard on his game throughout the tour of Australia and now has the opportunity to play a role in the Test team.

“Chris Tremlett had a very encouraging winter after a period of time away from the national side and, alongside Stuart Broad, James Anderson and Steven Finn, offers us a number of options with our pace attack.”

England Test squad: Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Matthew Prior (wicket-keeper), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Chris Tremlett, James Anderson, Steven Finn

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