England Twenty20 captain Eoin Morgan is relishing the prospect of facing his England team-mates when Middlesex host the first T20 Blast double-header on Saturday.
The Panthers face Alastair Cook’s Essex at noon before a showdown with Chris Jordan’s Sussex later in the day as the opening weekend of the domestic Twenty20 competition continues.
With their four-day County Championship clash with Lancashire finishing on Wednesday, Middlesex have only a two-day turnaround before their back-to-back matches.
Morgan believes such rigorous scheduling is a challenge of the modern game but insists it is one Middlesex are prepared for.
“If you are looking to succeed in all three formats these are challenges that you have to overcome,” he told Sky Sports News.
“They can be difficult at times but your mindset is really important and getting time off can sometimes be more important than time in the nets.
“We’re really looking forward to Saturday. It’s the first ever double-header in fixtures history which is really exciting, I think the weather is set pretty fair so I can’t encourage guys enough to come down and get your bums on seats.”
Morgan will be one of four England one-day players on show at Lord’s, with Essex led by Cook and all-rounder Ravi Bopara, while seamer Jordan will lead the Sussex attack.
“It’s going to be a huge day,” he admitted. “Bopara, Cook, Jordan, they’re all going to be playing so the stakes are going to be quite high. Two games in one day, it’s going to be pretty brilliant.”
Jordan and Bopara will join forces with Morgan next week as England prepare for a one-off Twenty20 match against Sri Lanka before a three-game one-day international series, with Cook then returning as captain.
England beat Sri Lanka at the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh in their most recent encounter, but Morgan is wary of the threat posed by the side who went on the lift the crown.
“They’re champions and they’re going to be hard to turn over, but look back at the last time we played them and we managed to turn them over,” he added.
“Turning over the world champions in a tournament they went on to win is something we’ll take from going into that game.”
Morgan, 27, has made his name as a one-day and Twenty20 specialist but a 197-ball 103 against Lancashire on day three at Lord’s displayed a more patient approach as the Irish-born batsman looks to put himself in contention for an England Test recall.
“It’s something that I’ve worked on over the last four or five years, it’s the challenges of a modern-day cricketer, I think it’s accepted around the circuit that these are things you have to do,” he claimed.
“The rewards are there, if you do well in all forms there are opportunities available so that carrot is there at the end of hard work.
“I thought we built our innings really, really well. Sam Robson and Dawid Malan set the foundations at the top and then guys below them came in and took advantage of conditions.”