Eoin Morgan has been, for a few years, one of England’s very best ODI cricketers. He hits the ball cleanly, and he stays in long enough to make hundreds. Clearly he isn’t daunted by the “big stage”.
Why then has he not managed to make the same impact at First Class or Test level? He scores slowly and can even get completely stuck. However, in the current round of county cricket, he made an aggressive 191 – with 29 fours and 2 sixes. Interestingly, this very impressive innings backs my theory.
I think he struggles to “tick over”, keep the score going, get off strike etc. This produces a perceived pressure and culminates in him making an over-attacking shot, which often goes wrong, and consequently he only scores big when he’s having a REALLY good day.
His innings of 191, from 265 balls contained 128 runs in boundaries … 67% of his total. Contrast this with Joe Root’s recent test hundred – 200 from 298 balls, with 16 fours – only 32% of his runs in boundaries. Both batsmen scored at over 4 runs per over, yet Joe Root ticks the score along with relative ease and I believe this helps him as much as it hinders Eoin. Root is thus able to play simple shots to “tick over” that don’t require the same degree of risk or difficulty.