IND v ENG 2021: ‘He was keen to play’, Eoin Morgan explains the decision to not rest Ben Stokes for ODI series

England team management didn’t think about resting Ben Stokes for the ODI leg against India as the all-rounder was keen to play, skipper Eoin Morgan revealed on Monday (March 22).

See Also: Nasser Hussain critical of Ben Stokes, says he ‘hasn’t done anything yet in T20Is’

England suffered a 36-run defeat in the fifth T20I against India on Saturday (March 20) and thereby conceded the series 3-2.

The visitors now will take on India in three ODIs, starting on Tuesday (March 23) in Pune.

“Obviously, we have looked at various periods of rest for Ben. This isn’t one of them, it would be when we get home potentially during this summer. It is dependent on circumstances regarding bio-secure bubbles and how often he sees his family,” said Morgan during a virtual press conference when ANI asked whether the management looked at resting Stokes for the ODI series.

“Given that we play three games in five days, if we rested Ben, it would have literally Ben was staying in his room in Pune or Mumbai, sitting around as IPL is near. Ben was very keen to play so it was not considered,” he added.

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has been fairly vocal on rotation policy keeping in mind the bubble life amid COVID-19 pandemic.

Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, James Anderson were rotated during the four-match Test series against India while red-ball skipper Joe Root isn’t part of the ODI squad.

Asked whether England will miss the services of Root, Morgan replied: “For a guy who scores run a ball and averages 50, he is an exceptional player and he has been that for a long time. We will miss him but it is about someone getting sloted at number three.”

Eoin Morgan had expected the pitches to take spin during the T20I series but this wasn’t the case, and the visiting skipper now hopes that turning tracks would be in store for the ODI rubber.

“I do not know if we will get turning pitches. Historically, Pune has not really turned, it is a high-scoring ground and it is smaller than most. Good outfield and some dew in the evening. I am not expecting the pitch to turn but if it does it will be a really good experience for us,” he remarked.

(With ANI inputs)

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