Dominic Cork backs Eoin Morgan to fill England void left by KP exit
Last Updated: 07/02/14 2:21pm
Eoin Morgan: Former England bowler Dominic Cork feels he can replace Kevin Pietersen in the national side
Dominic Cork has backed Eoin Morgan to fill the void left by Kevin Pietersen in the England team, but admits it will be a hard act to follow.
Former England bowler Cork felt the time was right for Pietersen, the scorer of a record 13,797 runs in all international formats, to come out of the national set-up.
But he also feels the omission of Pietersen, combined with the retirement of Graeme Swann and the ongoing absence of Jonathan Trott, has diluted the quality of the England team.
While Cork accepts Morgan is not on the same skill level as Pietersen, he does feel the 27-year-old could be a credible replacement if he can resist the financial lure of the Indian Premier League.
"To lose somebody like (Kevin) Pietersen leaves the team with a massive void to fill and the only one I can see filling it now is Eoin Morgan," he said.
"The discussion with him has to be does he want to play Test cricket? Does he want to give up the IPL for that?
"He's one of those guys who has got a lot of skill, perhaps not as much as Pietersen, but he's the nearest like-for-like replacement. He could bat four or five in that line-up."
Swann retired midway through England's disastrous tour of Australia in what was a shock move and one which also leaves a vacancy in the side for a specialist spinner.
Cork said: "Graeme Swann has been perhaps England's best ever spinner and you're looking at players like (Scott) Borthwick or maybe a (Simon) Kerrigan but these are big holes to fill."
England are also in the market for a new head coach following the departure of Andy Flower and the favourite for the job is Ashley Giles, who has been in charge of the national team's limited overs sides since November 2012.
Cork feels Giles would be a good choice for the role but that the judgement cannot be made until after the next two tours.
"Ashley Giles will be the favourite and at the moment it's his job," he said. "They have tours against West Indies and Sri Lanka and the only thing that might happen is if England don't go well and other things come out from within.
"If that happens then questions might be asked but I think it's the right way to go. He's very respected and he's won a lot within the game.
"He's a solid character and he's got a bit of personality as well, which you need to have."