Injured Eoin Morgan, Sam Billings uncertain for second ODI


Pune, March 24

England skipper Eoin Morgan and Sam Billings are doubtful for the second ODI against India here on Friday after sustaining injuries in the series-opener, dealing a fresh blow to the side’s floundering campaign.

The visitors suffered the setbacks in their 66-run defeat after the skipper split the webbing between his right thumb and index finger that required four stitches. In another incident, Billings injured his collarbone following an awkward dive to stop a boundary.

“We’re going to wait 48 for hours and see how it is…give as much time as needed to hopefully be available for Friday,” Morgan said at the post-match interaction.

Morgan, who scored 22 as England were bowled out for 251 in pursuit of India’s 318, said his batting would not be 100 per cent given the injury and fielding too is a concern with a split webbing.

Billings, who had dislocated his left shoulder to miss their triumphant campaign in the 2019 World Cup, too batted in the stiff run chase, and scored 18.

“I haven’t spoken with Sam about his batting so I don’t know in his instance… In mine, it’s never going to be at 100 per cent but it’s not that I can’t hold a bat,” Morgan said.

Down 0-1, the world champions face a must-win situation in the second of the three ODIs here on Friday.

Going forward, Morgan said, they would give the majority of their players opportunities which could mean openings for Matt Parkinson, Reece Topley and uncapped Liam Livingstone.

“ODI cricket has been the vehicle to grow our squad and try and improve beyond our best XI on the field so there will be opportunities for guys coming in,” Morgan said. PTI



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