Didn't rest Stokes as he was keen to play ODI series, says Morgan

FILE PHOTO: Ben Stokes

England limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan on Monday said that the management did not consider resting Ben Stokes for the ODI series against India as the all-rounder was keen to play.

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On Saturday, India defeated England in the fifth T20I, and as a result, the hosts won the series 3-2. Now both teams will lock horns in a three-match ODI series, beginning Tuesday in Pune.

Before the T20 series had started, Morgan had clearly said that he would want his side to play on turning tracks in order to get best practice for this year's T20 World Cup. But this was not the case in the T20I series, but the Three Lions skipper hopes that turning tracks would be in store in Pune for the ODI leg.

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"I do not know if we will get turning pitches. Historically, Pune has not really turned, it is a high-scoring ground and it is smaller than most. Good outfield and some dew in the evening. I am not expecting the pitch to turn but if it does it will be a really good experience for us," said Morgan while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference on Monday.

England and Wales Cricket Board has been big on rotation policy in the ongoing series against India. Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, James Anderson were all rotated during the Test series against India.

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When ANI asked whether the management looked at resting Ben Stokes for the ODI series looking at the international calendar and IPL, he said: "Obviously, we have looked at various periods of rest for Ben. This isn't one of them, it would be when we get home potentially during this summer. It is dependent on circumstances regarding bio-secure bubbles and how often he sees his family.

"Given that we play three games in five days, if we rested Ben, it would have literally Ben was staying in his room in Pune or Mumbai, sitting around as IPL is near. Ben was very keen to play so it was not considered," he added.

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Test skipper Joe Root has also been rested for the ODI series. When asked whether his presence would be missed by the side, Morgan said: "For a guy who scores run a ball and averages 50, he is an exceptional player and he has been that for a long time. We will miss him but it is about someone getting sloted at number three.

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