Jason Roy and Eoin Morgan have emerged as serious doubts for England’s next World Cup fixture, against Afghanistan at Old Trafford on Tuesday, with the two men facing scans on their left hamstring and back respectively.
Both injuries were sustained in the field during England’s otherwise comfortable eight-wicket win over West Indies in Southampton. Roy, the opener, would have been unable to bat until five wickets had fallen in the England innings, having gone off the field clutching his hamstring as early as in the eighth over.
Morgan, who suffered back spasms, went off in the 40th over – the innings lasted 44.4 overs – and in accordance with the ICC’s regulations, wouldn’t have been able to bat for 28 minutes at the start of England’s chase.
With a relatively short turnaround to England’s next match, Morgan said that he and Roy would be monitored for the next 48 hours, before a “risk assessment” to decide whether it is worth including them for a contest that England will be expecting to win, regardless of their injury concerns.
“It is my back, it’s a little bit sore, and Roy tweaked his hammy as well,” said Morgan during the post-match presentations. “I have had a lot of back spasms as well in the past. It’s a matter of waiting 48 hours to let it settle down, sometimes it settles a lot quicker than expected and sometimes it lingers around, so we’ll just have to see how it goes.”
At the subsequent post-match press conference, Morgan chose to stand to address the media due to his discomfort, but insisted the fitness of both him and Roy was not “panic stations”.
“We’ll do a risk assessment, see how risky it is going into that game, bearing in mind we have two games in quite a short space (of time).” England’s next match after Afghanistan is against Sri Lanka at Headingley on Friday.
At this stage, the England management appear more concerned about the fitness of Roy, who pulled up sharply while chasing a ball in the covers and subsequently left the field with what the England management described as “tightness to his left hamstring”. He did not take any further part in the match and will undergo a scan on Saturday.
“Again, it will be 24-48 hours,” said Morgan. “Everyone within our squad is so vital, so we obviously don’t want or need injuries throughout the tournament so hopefully they aren’t too serious.”
The injury to Morgan looked worse at the time. He ran towards the stumps at the non-striker’s end as the batsmen, Nicholas Pooran and Carlos Brathwaite, took a quick run, but then doubled up in pain close to the stumps. He went off immediately, Jos Buttler taking over leadership duties, and the back spasm was confirmed a little while later.
With England already going into the game one batsman short (Moeen Ali was omitted from the line-up) Joe Root stepped up to open the innings alongside Jonny Bairstow, and sealed the contest with an unbeaten century, while Chris Woakes was promoted to No.3 and contributed a fine 40 to a second-wicket stand of 104.
“I think we had a really good day at the office today,” said Morgan. “The way the bowlers stuck to plans on that surface was outstanding, and we continued to create chances through the middle overs.
“Joe [Root] has had an absolute day out. He’s the glue that keeps the team together. Our plans have remained the same throughout, even though the personnel have changed. The guys are executing the plans better, and you need players that can play a part through the tournament.”
Importantly, keeping in mind the rest of the tournament, England are also without their first-choice reserve opener, Alex Hales, who was dropped from the squad after the furore following the news that he had failed a drugs test.
Roy’s start to the season was delayed by a hamstring strain. It is currently unclear if the issues are related.
Article source: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/1188777.html?CMP=OTC-RSS