Positive spin on Patel selection

Miller explains omission of Morgan for England's tour of Sri Lanka

Last Updated: 28/02/12 11:02am

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Sky Bet

Samit Patel's spin bowling earned him a place ahead of Eoin Morgan for England's tour of Sri Lanka, according to national selector Geoff Miller.

Morgan paid the price for a disappointing time in the United Arab Emirates, where he averaged 13.67 in three Tests against Pakistan and also failed to impress in the limited-overs matches.

His place for the two-Test series in Sri Lanka has gone to Patel, who can bat in the top six and bowls left-arm spin.

Patel has enjoyed some success in T20 and ODIs for England but is untried at Test level.

Decisions

"He has to go away and work on his Test technique. That will be quite difficult for him as he is going straight to the IPL."
Geoff Miller on Eoin Morgan Quotes of the week

"This is not an excuse culture we are in with this England team," Miller told Sky Sports News HD.

"We have to make decisions on certain players and certain areas.

"We wanted to cover the spin option as well as the batting option, so he (Morgan) missed out because we need to try somebody else.

"Ravi (Bopara) was there (in the UAE), he didn't play any games, and has the opportunity to fight for the batting spot with Samit Patel, who has shown a lot of promise."

Morgan averages 30.43 in 16 Tests over the last two years and has been told to improve his technique.

But the Dublin-born left-hander's next assignment will be a stint in the IPL Twenty20 league, which Miller admits is not ideal.

"He's an unflappable character and a talented player as well. He has to go away and work on his Test technique," Miller added.

"That will be quite difficult for him as he is going straight to the IPL. I'm sure he'll be wanting to re-establish his Test career and he is a strong enough character to do that."

Balance

England, the top ranked Test side in the world, went down to a 3-0 defeat to Pakistan, whose spinners Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman ran riot.

But Miller was happy with the make-up of England's Test squad in the Middle East and explained the addition of an extra spinner, Kent's James Tredwell, for Sri Lanka.

"No I don't think we got it wrong. We ended up playing two (seamers) and two (spinners), which was a necessity, and it worked pretty well," Miller said.

"On this occasion we are virtually sure of the type of spinning conditions they are going to prepare for us.

"So we just needed to make sure we covered Graeme Swann in case of injury, consequently James comes into the squad. And we've covered Monty as well (with Patel).

"We are just making sure we are completely right for spinning conditions."

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