There are certain batsmen who have a brand of batting that differentiates them from other batsmen and Eoin Morgan is such a player who can change the complexion of a game with strokes that are not only classified as unorthodox but outrageous as well due to the sheer inventiveness he brings to the table. His performance for England in the limited over versions of the game made him an excellent prospect in the IPL and hence it is no wonder that he has turned out for two of the most high profile teams in the IPL so far- Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Kolkata Knight Riders. However, he has not played as frequently as he would have liked due to England’s international schedule and also because of the fact that he has been part of two teams who already have an intimidating batting line up with only few places up for grabs.
The best thing about having a player of the caliber of Eoin Morgan in the batting lineup is that he has the technique, attitude and adaptability to bat at any position. He is the ideal floater in a batting order that can open the batting against the fastest of bowlers and take them to the cleaners, while on the other hand come in to bat in the middle or lower-middle order and do the same. In addition to that, he is an outstanding player of spin and hence unlike many of the foreign recruits in the IPL, he does not find himself in a soup when he has to confront a world class spinner on turning tracks. Last but not the least is his contribution as a fielder and due to his outstanding athleticism he is someone who can save at least 10 to 15 runs in the field for his side.
Morgan was sold to the Royal Challengers Bangalore for $220,000 in the 2009 but he did not play a single game in that edition of the IPL in South Africa. It was only in 2010 that he was picked for a handful of games. However, his performance for England continued to be impressive which made the Kolkata Knight Riders go for him in the 2011 auctions and he was eventually sold to the Shah Rukh Khan owned team for $350,000.
It was only when Morgan started to play for the KKR that he started to get a few games with a semblance of regularity and his highest score came in his very first season with the Kolkata based team. He scored 66 in a game against the Kochi Tuskers Kerala. However, it needs to be mentioned that Morgan would not look back at that innings with any fondness since he was run out at a crucial time and KKR ended up losing the game from a position from which they should never have lost.
As can be seen from the table, Morgan has only batted in 3 seasons of the IPL so far which does not do justice to the sort of talent he possesses as a cricketer. However in the games that he has played so far, he has given a good account of himself as a batsman of rare pedigree and talent. In 2010 and 2011, his strike rate was not as good as he would have liked but after he was given a fair run in the 2013 season, he has succeeded in clocking a far more impressive strike rate of 127.33. The average of 20.82 however has to improve in the following seasons.
Did you know?
Although Eoin Morgan plays for England he is actually an Irishman who had even played the 2007 World Cup for that country; it was in the same year that he switched to England for better cricketing opportunities. Morgan is currently in a relationship with a Law and Public Relations student Tara Ridgway.
By Soham Samaddar