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Fraser appointment puts Morgan in pole position for Test spot

| 13.02.2014

Eoin Morgan is in pole position to start for England in the first Test match of next summer after Middlesex Director of Cricket, Angus Fraser, was appointed a selector for the national side.

The former England fast bowler will join chief selector James Whitaker and England’s limited overs coach Ashley Giles on the selection panel.

And his first job will be to decide how England move forward following the disastrous Ashes campaign this winter and Kevin Pietersen’s sacking, with Morgan one of the favourites to take a spot in a revamped Test match side.

The Irish-born batsman is 1/2 with Ladbrokes to feature in his first five-day match for England since 2012 and his chances will be done no harm with Fraser’s appointment.*

In an interesting move the Middlesex star has also turned down the riches of an IPL contract to focus on the four-day cricket with his county in a bid to win a place in the England side this summer.

But the 27-year-old, who is 6/4 not to start the first Test of the summer at Lords with the bookmaker, has struggled at Test level before during 16 matches for England, in which he averaged just 30 with the bat.*

But with Fraser, who appointed Morgan captain of Middlesex’s one-day side earlier this month, the left-hander is set to be given another chance to crack the longest form of the game.

Paul Collingwood, meanwhile, has been called into the England set-up as assistant coach to Ashley Giles for the limited overs tour to the West Indies and the World Twenty20.

The former England batsman’s experience will work alongside Giles for the two tours and his limited overs cricket experience will be vital to an England side who are 10/1 to win the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

Collingwood masterminded England’s first global ICC tournament success by captaining them to T20 glory in the West Indies back in 2010.

He also skippered Durham to the County Championship last year before showing off his coaching credentials by leading Scotland to their first World Cup in 2007 in January when they won the ICC World Cup qualifier in New Zealand.

Ashley Giles is still the favourite to become England’s full-time coach in all three formats following the departure of Andy Flower and two good tours with Collingwood by his side will do both of their employment prospects no harm.

*Odds available on request.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Oliver Yew