England captain Eoin Morgan has been ruled out of the remainder of the three-match ODI series against India in Pune. In his absence, Jos Buttler will captain the visitors.
During the Indian innings, Eoin Morgan split his webbing while trying to stop a rasping drive off the blade of Hardik Pandya. The 34-year-old immediately left the field and took four stitches.
Eoin Morgan returned to bat later in the day. But with the pain apparently not subsiding while fielding during a training session on Thursday, the England captain decided to rule himself out of the series to prevent further damage.
“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," Eoin Morgan said.
"Extremely frustrating, but there’s nothing I can do about it" - Eoin Morgan
Considering the strenuous demand on fielders in modern-day international cricket, especially in limited overs, Morgan didn't want to be a liability on the field in the remaining two games of the series. The England captain observed in this regard:
“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."
Eoin Morgan has expressed confidence in stand-in captain Jos Buttler's ability to deliver in his absence. The wicket-keeper batsman has won four of six ODIs while captaining England.
“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,” Eoin Morgan concluded.
With Eoin Morgan ruled out of the series, Liam Livingstone is expected to replace Morgan. He is now all set to make his ODI debut in the second ODI on Friday. Meanwhile, Dawid Malan, who was in the reserves, has been added to the ODI squad.
Sam Billings, who was also injured while fielding in the first game, will not be a part of the England XI in the second ODI. While trying to prevent a boundary, the Kent player bruised his left collar bone.
Billings didn't train with the team on Thursday. A decision on his availability for the third ODI will be taken in due course.