Fit-again Morgan confident with new saftey gear
England captain Eoin Morgan said Tuesday he believed that new gear and renewed confidence will help him negotiate short-pitched bowling after being hit by Australian paceman Mitchell Starc two months ago.
Morgan, 29, suffered concussion after the blow during the fifth and final one-day match at Manchester which also cut short his county season.
But a refreshed Morgan said he will wear a protective helmet with a neck guard in the four-match series which starts in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday — his first match since the incident.
Morgan said the blow was a hard one.
“At the time, it was quite concerning,” said Morgan of the incident. “The ball hit me quite hard. It was quite a good delivery. I’ve watched it back a number of times.
“But I still look back at it now – and hats off, it was a pretty good delivery.”
The cricket world was rocked by the death of Australian batsman Philip Hughes after being hit on the head by a bouncer in a first-class match in Sydney in November last year.
The sad incident increased safety demands for batsmen with the introduction of new helmets which also protect the back of the neck.
Morgan said he will be using one of the redesigned helmets.
“I did change it (helmet) during the series (against Australia). I got hit on the neck at Lord’s and wasn’t wearing a neck guard, I changed to a new helmet.
“It’s a personal opinion, I feel more protected with the neck guard that they have, so I went for the full helmet. I’ve had scans on my head to have a mould for my own helmet, which I’m wearing now, so I’ve come with that.”
Morgan said he has practiced to counter short-pitched balls.
“I’ve done a lot of short-ball practice since then. I’m quite confident going into this series that I’ve progressed.
“It’s worrying, to be honest, because the feeling of concussion is something I’ve never had before.”
Morgan said England, the only top team which failed to qualify for the quarter-finals in the 2015 World Cup, has progressed well since then, beating New Zealand 3-2 and losing to Australia by the same margin.
“That’s one thing we’ve gained over the last six months. We’ve created an atmosphere in which learning becomes very easy for our young guys coming in.
“Probably, no one would have given us a hope in hell against Australia and New Zealand. But they were two very competitive series, and we managed to turn over New Zealand.
The remaining matches will be played in Abu Dhabi (November 13), Sharjah (Nov 17) and Dubai (Nov 20). The two teams will also play three Twenty20 internationals.