Morgan's innings secures place in England squad for Test against Sri Lanka

Eoin Morgan's England Lions exploits reminded the Test selectors of his special ability in time to sneak into the squad for the first npower Test despite a casual mid-match revelation that he would head back to the Indian Premier League (IPL) should England omit him against Sri Lanka at Cardiff.

The selectors do not appear to have been especially impressed with those remarks - albeit a no objection certificate for him to take part for the whole of the IPL is thought to be in place.

In any case, whatever the reservations about the Irishman's perceived divided loyalties, they were not significant enough to stop him edging out Ravi Bopara in the 12-man squad which was named yesterday and which also features Steven Finn as the extra bowler ahead of Ajmal Shahzad.

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"He has not played much if any four-day cricket (this year], but he just showed what his character was in that innings," national selector Geoff Miller said of Morgan's 193 in the Lions' first innings against Sri Lanka at Derby.

"It's not the end of the world for anybody else knocking on that door, but that was good enough to show us he was the one to take the place. It was a very, very good innings.

"We knew it was there, but it was a matter of how you fit him or anybody into the side. You've got to overtake what's there."

As for Morgan's now defunct contingency plan to rejoin Kolkata Knight Riders, Miller added: "I will be having a chat to him about what his priorities are.

"The answer is I am happy about his commitment, but I need to verify that and make him aware of where we're coming from."

In cricketing terms, it seems, Morgan's previous occupancy of the extra batsman's place in last winter's Ashes squad - which made him the natural successor to the retired Paul Collingwood - and the adaptability he demonstrated so soon after arriving from the sub-Continent persuaded the selectors. Asked about the tight call between Bopara and Morgan, Miller indicated the discussions were involved but that - irrespective of opinions voiced - once a decision is made, it is always unanimous.

"It was very tough. We talked for a long time. But what comes out of that door is four or five (selectors agreeing) in one direction." Bopara's ability to bowl the medium-pace overs that Collingwood habitually got through, or maybe a few more, was a consideration - but not a telling one.

"It leaves you a seam bowler light," said Miller. "But [Jonathan] Trott can do that if need be, and Kevin Pietersen can bowl his little spin if need be.

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"We still feel we have got an attack that can combat most if not all teams in all conditions."

Into that attack, potentially, comes Finn, who, realistically, is more likely to play the understudy to James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Tremlett.

His elevation ahead of Shahzad is a surprise, given the latter's similarity to injured incumbent Tim Bresnan.

But Miller has no qualms about filling up the seam quota with three very tall bowlers behind spearhead Anderson, presumably on the premise that Sri Lanka may be vulnerable to the steeper bounce on pitches more responsive than the ones they are used to at home.

"You've got to take the conditions and the surfaces into consideration but you've also got to take the opponents into consideration," he said.

"We established what kind of bowler we wanted, plus the fact he [Finn] played Test matches in Australia as well.

"We don't close the door on anybody, but there has got to be a reason and a policy how they get into the side."

As for Bopara, who curried favour to little avail with his employers by preparing in county cricket instead of responding to the lure of IPL, more of the same seems to beckon.

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"Ravi was disappointed; I want him to be disappointed," added Miller. "He's still in our thinking, very much so.

"It's not the end of the world for him, but he's got to put in some really consistent performances now.

"We're trying to pick the best side to win Test matches for England.

"It's results. There were aspects about Ravi that we needed to have a chat to him about, his game and such like.

"There wasn't quite enough there for him to overtake what we originally thought."