Cricket-England captain Morgan out of India ODIs with hand injury

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - First One Day International - India v England - Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune, India - March 23, 2021 England's Eoin Morgan REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File Photo

(Reuters) - England skipper Eoin Morgan has been ruled out of the final two one-day internationals against India in Pune after splitting the webbing between his thumb and index finger in Tuesday's opener, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Thursday.

Jos Buttler will be captain from Friday's second match, while batsman Liam Livingstone is set to make his ODI debut.

Wicketkeeper batsman Sam Billings, who has a bruised collar bone, will be sidelined on Friday, with a decision on his fitness for Sunday's final match to be taken in due course. Batsman Dawid Malan is also available for selection.

Morgan came out to bat with four stitches in his right hand having split his webbing while fielding on Tuesday and scored a defiant 22, as England lost the match by 66 runs.

He went through a fielding drill during training at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Thursday before declaring himself unfit.

"I had the hand re-dressed before the start of training 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."

India batsman Shreyas Iyer is also out of the remaining two ODIs due to a shoulder injury.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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