England vs India: Harry Brook set for first chance at replacing Eoin Morgan in T20 opener

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England vs India: Harry Brook set for first chance at replacing Eoin Morgan in T20 opener
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Harry Brook is England’s next cab off the batting rank in all three formats, and appears set to get the first chance at replacing the retired Eoin Morgan in Southampton tonight.

Brook has been part of all four Test squads this summer, but has not been selected.

Unlike David Willey, he was not released for last night’s Vitality Blast quarter-final at The Oval and appears set to beat Phil Salt to Morgan’s place in the middle order for tonight’s first T20 against India at the Ageas Bowl.

It will be Jos Buttler’s first match as England’s full-time white-ball skipper having been appointed as Morgan’s replacement, and coach Matthew Mott’s first T20 in charge.

India are without Test stars such as Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah for tonight’s game, but they will return for the fixtures in Birmingham and Nottingham this weekend. However they will be captained by Rohit Sharma, who has recovered from Covid.

England team to face India in first T20i

Roy, Buttler, Malan, Moeen, Livingstone, Brook, S.Curran, Jordan, Mills, Topley, Parkinson

England have rested Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes for the whole series, while Adil Rashid is making the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, which hands Matt Parkinson a chance.

Brook made his T20i debut on January’s tour of Barbados, but made just 10. He is extremely highly-rated by England’s hierarchy, however, and is a prolific runscorer domestically.

The Yorkshireman is enjoying another extraordinary season, with 926 runs at an average of 115.75 in the County Championship and 434 runs in 11 innings in the Vitality Blast.

The 23-year-old is in both England white-ball squads this month, moving ahead of the likes of Sam Billings and James Vince in the pecking order.

Brook will take a place in a fluid middle order alongside all-rounders Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran and Moeen Ali, who is Buttler’s unofficial vice-captain.

Harry Brook can stake his claim to replace Eoin Morgan in England’s middle order (Action Images via Reuters)
Harry Brook can stake his claim to replace Eoin Morgan in England’s middle order (Action Images via Reuters)

Salt has more international experience, and had an outstanding ODI series in Amsterdam last month, but is seen as an opener. With Buttler and Jason Roy regulars at the top of the order, he will have to wait a little longer for his chance.

With Jofra Archer injured, England’s death bowling remains a major area for improvement. Chris Jordan remains in place, while their attack is set to feature three left-armers in Curran, Reece Topley and Tymal Mills.

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