The ongoing India tour has witnessed a lot of twist and turns for the visiting England team so far. England suffered a disappointing 1-3 series defeat in the Test matches and then also lost a closely fought five-match T20I series 2-3. However, the 2019 World Cup winners was in a superb position yesterday when the England openers, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow were blasting the India bowlers all around the park as they smashed 135 runs in 14.1 overs. But then a dramatic batting collapse saw England getting bowled out for 251 runs and losing the 1st ODI against India by 66 runs.
England’s Sam Billings who played his first game yesterday in this tour, suffered a freak injury where he sprained his collar bone while diving in vain to stop a boundary. After the injury, Billings didn’t take the field in the first innings but came on to bat during England’s chase in the first ODI against India. However, Billings could only contribute with 18 runs off 22 balls. In another injury news from the visiting camp, England captain Eoin Morgan split the webbing between his right thumb and index finger while fielding and required four stitches before going to bat in his team’s 66-run defeat.
Morgan, who scored 22 runs off 30 balls in the chase, stated after the match that he felt some discomfort while batting due to the injury. However, the England captain wasn’t sure if the same case was with Billings who also suffered an injury earlier in the game. There is still uncertainty over Billings and Morgan’s availability for the 2nd India vs England ODI scheduled on March 26 in Pune.
“We’re going to wait a while, and then give them as much time as needed to hopefully be available for Friday. I think two different instances, obviously when you have a split webbing fielding is a concern, and with Sam obviously landing while he’s fielding, being able to play the shots that he does,” said Eoin Morgan.
“I haven’t spoken with Sam about his batting so I don’t know in his instance. In mine, It’s never going to be at 100%, but it’s not that I can’t hold a bat,” the England captain added.
In case either of Billings or Morgan fails to recover in time for the second ENG vs IND ODI, Liam Livingstone is likely to make his ODI debut. The 27-year old England swashbuckling batsman received his maiden ODI call-up after brilliant performance in the domestic circuit and the Big Bash League season 2020-21. However, if both Morgan and Billings are ruled out for the next game, then England will have to include Dawid Malan in the playing XI as he is part of the reserves.
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