Alex Hales ruled out of series as Eoin Morgan sees positive in spin struggle | Cricket Bats | England

Eoin Morgan admitted Kuldeep Yadav “exposes” a weakness in England’s game.

Kuldeep, the left-arm wristspinner, claimed 6 for 25 as England were thrashed by eight wickets with 59 balls remaining at Trent Bridge.

But despite the margin of defeat, Morgan played down the significance of the result. Suggesting that Kuldeep offers such unique challenges that it will rarely damage England, Morgan also reasoned that England would rather confront such challenges now, a year ahead of the World Cup, when they still have the opportunity to find solutions.

“He is very good and there is no getting around that,” Morgan said. “He exposes an area of our game that we need to improve on and I think that is a good thing and a healthy thing.

“Considering there is only one left-arm chinaman bowler in the world it is not a huge concern. You play against one team and he happens to be very good, he is not any old left-arm chinaman.

“We have played great cricket for the last six months and not come up against anybody like this so it is a chance to improve on this area however long it might take between now and the World Cup.

“You have to give credit where it is due, he did bowl well and we need to clarify our plans and commit to them and just be better.”

“This was definitely a more useful experience than beating Australia. Finding yourself coming up against something that is rare, it is like facing a right arm leg spinner who is very good, you don’t come against many of them but when you do you need to adapt and think on your feet, so it is always a good challenge.”

Morgan also claimed that the surface at Trent Bridge provided some assistance to Kuldeep and suggested the pitch at Lord’s – where the second ODI is to be played on Saturday – will prove less helpful for him.

“The two grounds we’ve played at have offered more turn than other grounds,” Morgan said, referring to Kuldeep’s five-wicket haul in the T20 match at Old Trafford. “I think Lord’s will be similar to Cardiff [where Kuldeep finished wicketless] in that regard so the shift will be important.

“But that doesn’t paper over the fact that we need to get better at playing him.”

England received a further blow with the news that a scan has shown that Alex Hales has a side strain sustained while batting in the nets the day ahead of the Trent Bridge ODI. He is expected to be out of action for three or four weeks and will not, therefore, feature for England in the rest of the series.

Dawid Malan, who was called up as cover for Hales, will remain with the squad for the ODI at Lord’s on Saturday.

Sam Curran, meanwhile, has been released by England to appear in Surrey’s T20 Blast match against Sussex on Friday. He will rejoin the squad ahead of Saturday’s ODI.

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