Pune: England captain Eoin Morgan will miss the final two ODIs of the ongoing series against India in Pune because of an injury sustained during the first ODI.
Sam Billings will be unavailable for game two of the series on Friday, with a decision on his availability for Sunday’s final match to be taken in due course.
Jos Buttler will captain England in Morgan’s absence and Liam Livingstone will make his ODI debut.
“Morgan will miss out after sustaining a split webbing between his thumb and index finger in Tuesday’s series opener, an injury that required four stitches. The captain went through a fielding drill during training at the MCA Stadium on Thursday and afterwards declared himself unfit,” England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement.
“Dawid Malan, with the tour party as cover, has been drafted into the squad and is available for selection,” it added.
“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,” Morgan 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,” he added.
Billings did not train on Thursday after he suffered a bruised left collar bone while fielding in Tuesday’s opening match, and the injury remained sore on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, England all-rounder Ben Stokes spoke about the injuries sustained by the skipper Morgan and batsman Billings during the first ODI.
“Very unfortunate injuries to have from a team point of view. On the bright side, when Sam first fell over, we all held our breath as he had a shoulder issue in the past but then thankfully, things weren’t as bad as we initially thought, he is obviously continuing to get assessed.
“With the split webbing, Morgan has got, it could be quite annoying, I haven’t spoken to him about that since he has done it. So, I’m not sure where he is at, I’m sure he will be fine. Thankfully, Sam especially is a lot better than what we initially thought,” the all-rounder said.
The second ODI between England and India will be played at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium on Friday.