Kevin Pietersen may be ruled out of the Cricket World Cup, but the opportunity to call up Eoin Morgan into their squad could actually be of benefit to their chances of winning the tournament.
Pietersen is expected to be out for six weeks following the need for a hernia operation and England have applied to fly Morgan to the sub continent as his replacement.
Although England have turned down the chance to name a recognised opener to take over from Pietersen alongside Andrew Strauss, Morgan’s talents in the middle order could prove a priceless asset.
England are now 9/1 in the Cricket World Cup betting to win Group B and 7/1 for the tournament after their victory over South Africa, with their main weakness so far being their inability to score runs quickly in the late overs.
Morgan’s deftness of touch and capacity to hit the ball all over the ground could substantially help in this department and he has already shown an ability to take a game by the scruff of the neck in the past.
The one decision that will need to be made is which of the middle-order batsmen will be promoted up the order to open with Strauss in order to make room for Morgan.
There are three chief options open to England and it will largely depend on which mindset they are in.
Matt Prior was largely expected to open before the start of the tournament and has a similarly aggressive style to Pietersen, which could yield quick runs in the opening overs.
However, he has looked out of touch at the World Cup so far.
Ian Bell has opened for England in the past and is perhaps the most likely to step in for Pietersen, especially based on his current form.
Ravi Bopara has impressed at number five in both of his innings’ to date and therefore it is unlikely that England will want to jiggle his position.
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