Morgan harbours Ashes dream

Ireland's Eoin Morgan has urged the England selectors to help him realise his boyhood dream of playing in an Ashes series.

Ireland's Eoin Morgan has urged the England selectors to help him realise his boyhood dream of playing in an Ashes series.

The Middlesex batsman has earned plaudits across the country for his aggressive and innovative strokeplay which was key to England winning the ICC World Twenty20 – their first international tournament in history.

Dublin-born Morgan has played 18 one-day internationals and 12 Twenty20 games for England but is yet to make his debut at Test level.

He has been tipped to be among Andrew Strauss’ squad for the two-Test series against Bangladesh, which begins at Lord’s next Friday.

Critics have pointed to Morgan’s 2009 first-class average of 24 as a reason why he is not ready to adapt his strokeplay to the longer form of the game.

But the 23-year-old insists he is good enough to be considered for this summer’s Tests, and is determined to make England’s squad for this winter’s Ashes in Australia.

He said: “Every kid who plays cricket dreams of playing in an Ashes series and I’m no different. That would be phenomenal.

“That’s a long way away but if I keep playing like I have done then hopefully I will be able to put myself in a good position.

“I certainly think I’m capable of playing Test cricket.

“With the confidence I have shown in the higher levels of the one-day game and the Twenty20 then I think I have the mental game for the Test game.

“It will be difficult to break into the team. The guys that are in there now have been very successful in what they have done.

“I couldn’t have put myself in a better position to start the season. I have never been in better form myself and I have some scores under my belt so hopefully I’ll be given a chance.”

Morgan has had to deal with a number of critics from Ireland, who hit out at his decision to turn his back on the country of his birth last year.

Morgan has no regrets about his decision though, and is proud of the team’s success in the Caribbean.

“The last 12 months have been a dream come true to be honest,” said the Middlesex left-hander.

“With every game I play I just keep my head down and do my own thing but it’s been an absolute pleasure.

“It was a fantastic experience playing out in the West Indies and some of the performances I put in were match-winning contributions, so I really enjoyed myself.”

Morgan’s 40 off 34 in the Super Eights against New Zealand was one of several impressive innings which has seen him touted as a Test star of the future.

He still faces a struggle to dislodge a member of England’s top six batsmen after they followed up their Ashes win with a series victory in Bangladesh and a creditable draw in South Africa.

Middlesex veteran Shaun Udal is one of Morgan’s biggest admirers and he believes he can break into the England XI due to his big-match temperament.

“The world is his oyster,” the former England spinner said.

“The important thing at the highest level is temperament and his temperament is unique so I have no doubts that he will be able to do it.”

Middlesex managing director Angus Fraser added his name to the list of respected names within the game calling on the selectors to take a chance on Morgan.

“He is one of those blokes who makes you sick because he’s very good at whatever he turns his hand to,” said the former England seamer.

“I think somewhere down the line the selectors will have to take a bit of a punt on him like they have done with other people in the past like Michael Vaughan, Marcus Trescothick and Paul Collingwood.

“They didn’t have outstanding first-class records but the selectors ended up picking them because they thought they saw something in them. They have gone on to have outstanding Test careers so I would encourage them to do that with Eoin as well.”

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