England’s ODI and T20I skipper, Eoin Morgan has been ruled out of 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, as informed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Thursday. Moreover, Sam Billings, who had suffered an injury on his collar bone while fielding in the first ODI, will be expected to be rested for the second ODI, and his taking part in the last game will be decided later on.
ECB also informed that Liam Livingstone will be making his ODI debut in the second ODI, and Dawid Malan, who was in the squad as a cover, will be available for selection in the final two games. Jos Buttler will be captaining the team 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.
Describing Eoin Morgan’s case, ECB said, “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. 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.”
They further added, “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 can be expected to feature in the playing 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.