KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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Eoin Morgan believes he can force his way into the England starting XI for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.
Speaking exclusively to Lords.org, Morgan reflected on a low scoring summer and admitted he is desperate to play on the batsmen-friendly wickets Down Under for the first time.
Morgan, 24, is one of seven batsmen vying for six spots in the Ashes line-up as England set out to retain the Urn they won in 2009.
The left-hander had a good debut summer in the Test arena, which included a magnificent first century against Pakistan at Trent Bridge.
Despite the return of Ian Bell to the Ashes squad Morgan is confident of impressing the selectors during England’s warm-up games and retaining his Test place.
"The reality is there are six places for seven of us." said Morgan, speaking from the MCC Museum at Lord's.
"That healthy competition between us ups the standard of the game within the camp and creates a good, high intensity practice as well as a great atmosphere in the changing room, which we all benefit from.
"I know I need to get some runs under my belt in the warm-ups though to give myself every opportunity to be in the starting team.
"I’ve had a good run of things recently and I don’t see any reason why I can’t go out there and score some runs if I get the games. I’ve no doubt I can do the job.
"I’ve never played in Australia so it should be a good, interesting experience.
"The wickets are batter friendly. It’s a batsman’s paradise and I’m looking forward to batting out there.
"I don’t think the selectors have made their minds up - I certainly hope not. There is a long way to go and a lot of cricket to be played before the first Test."
Morgan has played a decisive part in improving England’s dynamism - particularly in the One Day International arena - in a remarkably short space of time.
His unconventional, often audacious hitting helped England to series wins over South Africa, Australia, Bangladesh and Pakistan in the last year - as well as an ICC World Twenty20 victory.
The Dubliner, who made his ODI debut for Ireland in 2006, also thinks England’s recent success has instilled the kind of confidence they need to conquer Australia, Down Under
"There has been an attitude change in the team, particularly in the One Day game and particularly batting.
"I’d like to think I’ve played a part in that change - as much as everybody else in the side - because we’ve won a lot of games. The most significant part of that is guys making match-winning contributions. I feel I’ve done that.
"I absolutely didn’t think twelve months ago that I would be going on an Ashes tour though - everything has happened so quickly.
"But I think there is an attitude within the side that we can beat Australia and that we can be better than them.
"We’ve proven it in the final of the World T20 and in the One Day series earlier this summer.
"That’s enough to convince us and the fact that we are a very different team to the one that toured there last time gives us a fresh outlook on things and a new confidence that we can win.
"It’s looking good."