Morgan welcomes near full-strength squad for Australia clashes, door open for Root

By Peter Thompson 4 September 2020 1
Morgan welcomes near full-strength squad for Australia clashes, door open for Root

Eoin Morgan is relishing being able to field a near full-strength side in the Twenty20 International series against Australia and says the door is still open for Joe Root in the shortest format.

Morgan was unable to call upon the likes of Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Sam Curran, who are back in the squad after being in the bio-secure bubble for the Tests against West Indies and Pakistan.

An ODI series win over Ireland and the 1-1 T20 draw against Pakistan gave other players an opportunity to stake a claim with the T20 World Cup in India to come next year.

Jason Roy misses the T20s versus Australia due to a side strain but could return in the 50-over format, while Ben Stokes remains with his family in New Zealand after his father was diagnosed with brain cancer in January.

Morgan has welcomed the return of some of his World Cup winners ahead of a three-match T20 series that starts in Southampton on Friday.

The white-ball captain, who confirmed Buttler will open the batting with Jonny Bairstow despite Tom Banton impressing against Pakistan, said: "For the first time this summer we are seeing the majority of our best team on the park and that's great.

"Bar injury and absent players, which is only a couple, we are at full strength. That is a nice place to be.

"We don't have to pick our best XI every series that we play because we can't put all our eggs in one basket because we need 16 or 17 players in the lead up to a World Cup, all vying for selection in the best 15.

"We found in the lead in to the 50-overs World Cup that was the best position to be in."

There was no place for Root in the T20 squad, but Morgan says the Test skipper can still force his way back in.

"Yes, we have had that conversation with Joe and he certainly does have a future. The conversation was surrounding Joe not getting in the best XI at the moment," said Morgan.

"We didn't want to carry him around and him not play any cricket. Joe wants to play T20 cricket and put his best case forwards particularly when he doesn't have a lot of opportunity to go back to Yorks and play T20 cricket.

"We felt it was a really good opportunity for him to do that."

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