England selection chief James Whitaker expects Eoin Morgan to lead the one-day side in India even though he has opted out of the upcoming tour of Bangladesh on security grounds. Even though Whitaker agreed with Andrew Strauss's viewpoint and termed Morgan's withdrawal as 'slightly disappointing', he revealed that the 30-year-old's decision to stay back won't rule him out of team selections in future. Morgan, who has been in charge of England's 50-overs team since 2014, withdrew from the Bangladesh tour due to security concerns.
"Eoin has done exceptionally well as captain. Over the last couple of years, he's established a really good leadership base. He's done a marvellous job," Whitaker said. "It's slightly disappointing that he's turned this opportunity down, but we expect him to be captain in India. At the same time, we'll review as we do after every series. Other people will come in and put pressure on those guys. And all I'll say is, I expect him to be captain in India."
Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler has been appointed captain for the three ODIs in Bangladesh, and echoed that Morgan "very much remains the captain of the side." Whitaker, meanwhile, also dropped a hint that Ben Stokes will be appointed vice-captain for the Bangladesh tour. "We haven't nominated a vice-captain yet, but Ben Stokes is taking a leading role more and more in both forms of the game.
"He is an astute reader of the game. And a very astute motivator of other players around him. But from an official point of view, we haven't named one. Jos and Trevor will take a view, but Ben Stokes is a galvaniser of people and an astute reader of the game. He is taking a more leading role on that senior player group."
Whitaker also said that he expects Alastair Cook to be available for the first Test in Bangladesh, starting October 20, despite missing both the warm-up games. The English Test skipper will return home briefly for the birth of his second child, around October 10, and is expected to join the team back just ahead of the game.
"He'll go out for a little bit of practice at the back-end of the one-day series, then come back home and then go out ready for the first Test," Whitaker told Sky Sports. "He's got a lot of experience, he'll figure it out. I'm sure he'll be ready for the first Test."