England captain split webbing on his hand in first ODI, while Billings suffered shoulder injury
England captain Eoin Morgan has been ruled out of the remaining two ODIs against India with a hand injury suffered during the opening match in Pune on Tuesday. Jos Buttler is set to take over the reins, with Liam Livingstone in line for a debut.
Sam Billings, who sustained a shoulder injury in the field in the first ODI, will not be considered for Friday’s second game but could still return to play a part in the series. Dawid Malan, who was with the touring group as cover, has been drafted into the squad and is available for selection.
Morgan required stitches after splitting the webbing between his thumb and index finger attempting to stop the ball, and was able to bat in England’s unsuccessful run chase. But he declared himself unfit after taking part in a fielding drill at training on Thursday.
“I had the hand re-dressed before the start of training today but it quickly became apparent that I found myself protecting the injury and getting into the wrong positions to catch the ball,” he said. “There’s nowhere to hide on the field in international cricket these days, especially in limited-over formats so it didn’t require any great thought to make myself unavailable.
“It was a freak injury and it’s extremely frustrating but there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s now just a case of letting the cut heal. I have every confidence in Jos and the rest of the squad coping without me.”
Billings, too, came out to bat in the first ODI but did not train on Thursday as he continued to recover from a bruised collar bone. A decision on his availability for the third and final match, to be played on Sunday, will be taken in due course.
Both players are due to be involved in the upcoming IPL, with England confirming that Morgan would remain in their bubble before joining up with Kolkata Knight Riders, where he is captain for the tournament that begins on April 9.
Livingstone, the Lancashire batsman, played two T20Is for England in 2017 but is set to win his first cap in the 50-over format, on the back of a strong Big Bash with Perth Scorchers.
“It’s obviously really exciting,” he said. “I’ve spent a lot of time around the group over the summer and winter so it’s nice ot finally get a chance and really looking forward to tomorrow. It’s never nice to see team-mates get injured but fingers crossed they’re not quite as serious as they could have been so speedy recoveries for them and hopefully they’re back fit for the IPL.
“I’ve said before, the first time around was very different. I’ve been waiting for this chance for a while now so really excited. India have played some really good cricket, the back end of the T20 series and the one-dayer the other day so it’s a great chance to test myself against one of the best teams in the world.
“It’s not just any old team that you’re trying to get into [with England]. The team are world champions and probably the best white-ball side in the world at the moment, so it’s not something you walk into. Being around the group, it makes you feel more familiar and comfortable about playing for England. I’ve really enjoyed my time around the group, even though I haven’t been playing, so now it’s my turn to go out and perform.”