Josh Tongue: Eoin Morgan says England’s newest fast bowler has opportunity to earn a starting Ashes spot | Cricket News

Eoin Morgan says Josh Tongue has the opportunity to fight for an Ashes starting spot after impressing with a maiden Test five-for on his England debut.

The 25-year-old fast bowler was a late addition to the England squad for the one-off Test against Ireland but capped a fine performance by earning himself a spot on the Lord’s honours board with second-innings figures of 5-66 as the hosts won by 10 wickets on Saturday.

Tongue was told the night before that he had also earned a place in England’s squad for the first two Ashes Tests and, while James Anderson, Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood are contending to come into the starting XI for the first Test at Edgbaston on June 16, Morgan believes Tongue has shown enough to also be considered.

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The best of Josh Tongue’s brilliant five-wicket performance on his Test match debut for England

“As a captain, you need to have cards up your sleeve in order to play them at various stages of the game,” the former England World Cup-winning captain told Sky Sports.

“One of the questions that is hovering over this team at the moment is when it does go flat, will it turn, and if it doesn’t, you need somebody with a bit of pace or some point of difference.

“He has a genuine chance of playing in the Ashes, if the injuries continue to come. The fact that he’s in the squad gives him the opportunity to continue to impress.”

Tongue ‘over the moon’ at five-for but first is a ‘blur’

Reflecting on his selection for England’s initial Ashes squad, Tongue told Sky Sports: “I didn’t really expect to be in it, to be fair. It is very special for me and my family.

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Josh Tongue reflects on his five wickets on debut for England against Ireland at Lord’s and his inclusion in The Ashes squad for the upcoming series

He added on his debut five-for: “I am over the moon. A week ago I didn’t know if I would be playing for Worcestershire or coming here.

“To play at Lord’s and to take five wickets was a very special moment. I grew up wanting to play for England and when that came I was over the moon.

“My first wicket was a blur but hitting that line and length first ball and taking two wickets in my first over [in the second innings] took the pressure off.”

‘England’s lack of cutting edge on day three a concern’

Tongue’s sudden rise to prominence has come about in large part due to injuries, with Jofra Archer ruled out for the summer, after a recurrence of a stress fracture to his right elbow, and Olly Stone also facing several weeks on the sidelines after injuring his hamstring.

Wood was in the squad but not picked to play against Ireland, and though England’s bowlers impressed on the first morning to bowl the visitors out for 172, they struggled on the third day at Lord’s as batting became easier in the sunshine on a flat, placid pitch.

Despite Tongue’s wickets, lower-order batters Mark Adair and Andy McBrine hugely frustrated the hosts, sharing in a 163-run partnership as Ireland forced England to bat again.

With a step up in opposition awaiting in Australia, Sky Sports’ Mark Butcher said the passage of play was a “concern”.

“I wouldn’t say they [England] drifted,” he said. “They just lacked a little bit of cutting edge.

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Highlights from day three of the Test match between England and Ireland at Lord’s

“Until Josh Tongue got the ball back in his hand, and England went to a slightly more orthodox method of operating – going away from the short ball – there were one or two concerns. The main one being Jack Leach’s difficulties in bowling to left-handers.

“We think England’s preferred choice of bowling attack would be Anderson, Robinson, Wood, in terms of the three quicks. We still don’t know what [Ben] Stokes’ status is. I’m sure he will be absolutely fine, but if that isn’t the case, Stuart Broad today looked a little bit on the tardy side, a little slow and lacking in penetration when the ball was a little bit older.

“England have asked for flat pitches in the Ashes, haven’t they? They’ve not asked for green seamers; they want to take Australia on at their own game, be able to go out there and compile big runs.

“So, if there was one slight concern, it was that with tailenders in essentially they were made to look pretty ordinary for a long period of time during that afternoon session.”

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