Eoin Morgan’s problem is who to leave out with England squad teeming with talent ahead of white-ball series in South Africa
- England face South Africa in the first of three Twenty20 internationals on Friday
- South Africa are without two players who tested positive for Covid-19
- England meanwhile are at full strength and have a surplus of talent in the side
- Captain Eoin Morgan now has to make some tough calls on selection
- Joe Root and Tom Banton are be set for the sidelines in Cape Town
No England captain has ever enjoyed the embarrassment of riches handed to Eoin Morgan as the countdown on his attempt to land a World Cup double begins in earnest.
The first of three Twenty20 internationals in South Africa sees England at full strength against hosts plagued by a nightmare build-up.
South Africa are without two players who tested positive for Covid-19 last week, though the rest of their squad were passed fit to play on Friday.
Captain Eoin Morgan has to make some tough calls when it comes to England selection
The only problem facing Morgan is who to leave out of the most talented England batting line-up ever, with the likes of Joe Root and Tom Banton set to be on the sidelines in Cape Town.
Morgan’s sole concern on Thursday was over the safety of anyone lurking on the Newlands outfield during practice, such was the extent of England’s power-hitting. ‘We have open nets on the square here that have no roof on them,’ he said. ‘So it’s a bit dangerous.’
That excess of power means — with just under a year to go before the first of two T20 World Cups in consecutive years — England will field a top six of Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and Morgan, that will be the envy of all other sides competing in India next October.
The likes of Joe Root and Tom Banton are set for the sidelines as England face South Africa
The other decision the England captain must make is whether Moeen Ali should come in at seven, following the decline that saw him lose his 50-over World Cup and Ashes places last year.
Sam Curran will replace Moeen should England decide to leave spin solely in the capable hands of Adil Rashid, with Morgan admitting to Nasser Hussain in Sportsmail this week that he is not yet convinced of his best T20 team.
‘It will come down to the balance of the side and whether the pitch will change,’ said Morgan on Thursday. ‘The weather is sunny at the moment. I want to wait and see if the groundsman takes more grass off the wicket.’