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Morgan pivotal to Parsons pleasure

England Lions

David Parsons reflected on four days at Derby where Sri Lanka beat England Lions by 38 runs

ECB performance director David Parsons was enthused by “some very good signs from a number of players” in England Lions’ tour match against Sri Lanka and hopes Eoin Morgan can take his fine form into the first npower Test this week.

Morgan, who was yesterday named in England’s 12-man squad along with fellow Lion Steven Finn, particularly caught the eye with a chanceless 193 but Samit Patel also struck a first-innings hundred and seamer Jade Dernbach claimed a career-best nine wickets in the match.

Although the Lions – who forced the tourists to follow on – fell 38 short of a 222-run target at Derby, Parsons was pleased with the performances of several of his charges.

“The bigger picture is very much about us identifying players that can go on and perform at high levels for England and there were a number of players in this group here that we hope will be able to go on and play at the next level,” he told ecb.co.uk. “There were some very good signs from a number of players.”

Eoin Morgan & Samit Patel

Following his chanceless 193 for England Lions against Sri Lanka at Derby, David Parsons hopes Eoin Morgan "can take that into the Test match this week"

“Once you’ve got the 11 people out on the park, clearly in any game of cricket you want that team to win. So you try to identify ways in which we could have done things differently or done things better.”

Morgan’s century was all the more remarkable considering it was preceded by modest returns in the Indian Premier League and his previous first-class game was an Ashes tour match against Victoria in December.

“He did look in good form considering he hasn’t played this form of cricket for quite some time,” Parsons said.

“He’s obviously been in the England squad over the winter – (he) would possibly have liked to play a bit more cricket over that winter period – but, yes, he looks in good touch and hopefully he can take that into the Test match this week.”

One player whose contribution at Derby would be easy to gloss over is James Taylor’s, but not for Parsons.

The diminutive batsman overcame seamer-friendly conditions to make a first-innings fifty from an unfamiliar position at the top of the order.

“He’s often still thought of as being a young player of potential but he’s shown that against a decent attack here in difficult conditions,” Parsons added. “That first morning I wouldn’t underestimate how difficult that was and for him to get through that.

"That 76 he got very much laid the platform for the two guys to come in further down. It was probably therefore more valuable to us than simply the 76 runs that he scored.

"He continues to confirm that he’s got the potential. The thing now is to see how long it will be until he takes that step up to the next level but the signs are there that he can be successful. It’s just when that will be.”

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