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International Cricket: Morgan bows out with credit in the bank

England's World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan has made the decision to retire from international cricket and he exits having made a massive impression.

The limited-overs skipper led England to a historic World Cup triumph at Lord's in 2019 and also guided them to the top of the one-day international and Twenty20 rankings.

The left-hander made his debut for England 2009 and went on to make 225 appearances in the ODI format and 115 in T20 internationals.

However, his form recently has declined and Morgan has made the decision to step away despite there only being one more year until the next 50-over World Cup, for which England are priced at 3/1, while they are 7/2 to win the T20 World Cup later this year.

Morgan leaves the stage a hero

When Morgan first took to the field 13 years ago, he probably wouldn't have expected to achieve half as much as he did, but the 35-year-old has been a huge figure in the rejuvenation of the white-ball game.

A year after debuting, he was part of the side which won the T20 World Cup as England defeated Australia by seven wickets - Morgan was at the crease when the result was sealed.

In the following few years however, things began to unravel and with England's form on the slide, Morgan was handed the T20 captaincy in 2012 and then the ODI reins in 2014.

The 2015 World Cup proved to be a nadir as England failed to get out of the group stages and won just two from six.

However, there was a long-term plan and Morgan's aim was to instil a more attacking mentality in the limited-overs formats of the game.

That all came to head in 2019 when England won the World Cup in sensational, dramatic circumstances - the final ball in the "Super Over" saw England win by the most minute of margins.

Even recently, England have displayed that same attacking flair at ODI level. In their first one-dayer against the Netherlands last week, they broke their own record to score 498 runs in a single innings - no mean feat despite their lesser quality opponents.

Form has proved troublesome

Despite the recent successes for the team, Morgan's personal form has waned dramatically and that is probably a key factor behind his departure.

Only once in his last 26 innings has he recorded a half-century or better - poor figures from the captain and spearhead of the team.

He will have looked on enviously against the Dutch as Jason Roy, Phil Salt, Dawid Malan, and Jos Buttler all got centuries across the series, while Morgan was dismissed for ducks in his two innings.

He does at least hold the highest number of runs for England at both ODI and T20 level at 6,957 and 2,458 respectively, which does make it more baffling why his form has dipped to the extent it has done.

To Morgan's credit, he has helped bring through plenty of existing talent such as Liam Livingstone, meaning that his departure perhaps won't be felt quite as badly as it could have been.

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Who takes over from Morgan?

An announcement is expected from the ECB over Morgan's replacement by the end of the week, but it is highly likely that Jos Buttler will take on the role.

The wicketkeeper-batter has always impressed at white-ball level and has stepped in for Morgan when he has been unavailable for selection, leading England in nine ODIs and five T20s.

Buttler, like Morgan, has vast experience at this level, playing in 151 ODIs and 88 T20s - he has scored 11 centuries across the two formats.

The 31-year-old does also have ambitions of getting back in the Test team, though with England performing so well in the recent three-match series against New Zealand, he may find opportunities hard to come by.

As for Morgan, his plan of action now is to focus on domestic cricket and he is hopeful of captaining London Spirit to victory in the upcoming Hundred.

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