Bopara: Morgan a natural leader

Morgan, 28, will captain England in January’s Tri-Series against Australia and India before the??World Cup begins in February after replacing Alastair Cook as one-day skipper following a meeting of the selectors on Friday.

The left-hander averages just 25.45 this year in comparison to Cook???s 27.52 ??? but has scored 427 runs at an average of 71.16 on the eight occasions he has captained England, including a dazzling 62 off 47 balls in this summer???s fourth ODI against Sri Lanka.

And all-rounder Bopara ??? named in England???s 15-man one-day squad on Saturday ??? is convinced Morgan will rise to the challenge.

???It was a tough decision for the selectors and the coach,??? reflected Bopara, who has played 114 ODIs for England.

???Cookie has done a good job over the years that he has been captain. We know that he is a Test captain and he has got a pretty good one-day record ??? he led us to number one in the world at one stage.

???But naturally everything comes to an end ??? somebody has got to take over at some stage and I think Eoin Morgan is the perfect man for it.

???He???s good to be around when he???s leading the side ??? I think it gives him a bit more purpose as well. The Eoin Morgan we know hits long balls, is good against spin, can hit the ball anywhere.

???He???s not a massive kind of bossy person. He quietly goes about his business. He???s a big thinker about the game, even when he is not captain.

???He???s a free spirit; he???s just good to be around. He will have gained a lot of experience as a senior player in the Ireland side ??? he???s a natural at it.???

Cook admitted that he was gutted to be removed from the captaincy and left out of the squad, adding ???it is likely to take me a while to get over the disappointment”.

But Bopara said his Essex team-mate had paid the price for scoring just one fifty in his last 22 one-day innings for England, who lost 5-2 to Sri Lanka in their most recent ODI series.

???Form plays a massive part in being selected and we know Cookie didn???t have the best of times over the last year in one-day cricket; it???s tough for him,??? said Bopara.

???I know him well enough to know how disappointed he???s going to be not to be going to the World Cup ??? it would have been a dream of his. That would have been a massive achievement for him, especially to lead our side.

???But form is the most important thing. If you are scoring runs on the park then you are down to get selected and unfortunately for him that wasn???t the case.

???It???s time to move on and think about the things that Morgan can do for us. He???s a brilliant leader, he???s a great person and he???s loved by everybody in the team.???

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