Morgan eager to return to Test fray

England

Batsman Eoin Morgan is confident a dearth of first-class competition won't negatively affect his bid to reclaim a berth in the England Test team.

Batsman Eoin Morgan is confident a dearth of first-class competition won't negatively affect his bid to reclaim a berth in the England Test team.

Morgan, who scored 20 and 39 not out in Middlesex's six-wicket win over Durham in a competitive County Championship Division One clash at Lord's, hasn't played Test cricket in almost 18 months.

He has, however, enjoyed a decent run of form in the ODI and Twenty20 International unit – and contributed to the reasonable success of the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2013 Indian Premier League.

While the left-handed Morgan was chastised by national selector Geoff Miller for playing in the IPL instead of the the County Championship earlier this year, he is eager to regain favour in the Test ranks regardless.

"I have always been one to say the colour of the ball never really changes anything. It's about the form you are in, your mindset and how well you are playing. I have proved in the past I have come back from the IPL having not played many games, worked hard on my game and gone back into the Test team," he told <i>BBC London 94.9</i>.

"It doesn't really particularly bother me. If you feel comfortable within your own game and you are playing well, it shouldn't really matter. You ask yourself questions, as everybody does.

"I have come through some challenges over the last 12 months that have maybe changed a few things. But you go back to the basics you have been doing since you are 10 or 11 years old. It's never boring and I have one of the best jobs in the world and thoroughly enjoy what I am doing. I am loving cricket at the moment."

Former captain Nasser Hussain, meanwhile, has insisted the under-fire Jonny Bairstow be chosen for the remainder of the Ashes.

While the in-form Ian Bell has scored two centuries and middle-order talisman Kevin Pietersen and opener Joe Root one each, the right-handed Bairstow has managed just 161 runs in five innings.

The talented James Taylor and uncapped Gary Ballance, meanwhile, are on the periphery of selection – after consistently impressing at county level. Neither have been named in the squad for the fourth Test, though, affording Bairstow another opportunity to set himself apart.

"As I've said before, I believe Bairstow has a technical issue but the good thing about him is that he hits boundaries. It's almost as if he wants to get as many runs as possible before the bowlers get him," Hussain wrote in the <i>Daily Mail</i>.

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