Cricket Expert & Columnist
Eoin Morgan refreshed and scoring match-winning runs for England
Last Updated: 11/09/15 11:56pm
Eoin Morgan's break from cricket is now yielding dividends in the shape of match-winning runs, says Nasser Hussain.
Morgan struck a run-a-ball 92 to lead England to a series-levelling three wicket victory over Australia in the fourth one-dayer at Headingley, the hosts registering their fourth-highest run chase and best against Australia in reaching 304-7.
The left-hander has been in supreme form since returning after nearly a month away from the game, striking 74 off 39 balls on his comeback in England's T20 victory over Australia at the end of August.
Morgan has since run up 277 runs in the first four ODIs of the series at an average of nearly 70 - striking eight fours and two sixes in Leeds, putting on 91 for the fourth wicket with Ben Stokes (41).
"Morgan was averaging 10 for Middlesex in the County Championship," said Hussain. "He would have like a hundred but it took a brilliant catch by Glenn Maxwell to dismiss him.
"With the county schedule is the way it is, you are constantly playing and that means you can make yourself worse and worse while your brain is getting more and more scrambled if you are not careful.
"Sometimes the best thing is to say 'enough, give me a break and I will come back refreshed' and that's what he's done and he's got important runs and match-winning runs.
"The crucial partnership was between Morgan and Stokes - but England have so much batting down that order with the likes of Liam Plunkett and David Willey coming in at number nine. You're always in the game if you have batting down the order like that."
Earlier Australia racked up 299-7 after choosing to bat first - Maxwell top-scoring with 85 before being bowled by a quicker delivery from Moeen Ali, who took 2-40.
"I thought Moeen Ali had a really good day," said former England captain Hussain. "Australia couldn't get after him. England are going back to Old Trafford for the next game which we know will be a spinning surface.
"The batsmen couldn't get down the pitch to him and he's also developed these deliveries where he spins the ball the other way - not too much but they do.
"We've been crying out for our spinners to have a little bit of variation. Moeen Ali has been working on these deliveries for a little while now."
In addition to his runs, Maxwell also took two wickets but the stand-out memory of his contribution to the game will be the coolness and calmness with which he took a phenomenal catch on the boundary to remove Liam Plunkett.
"Maxwell couldn't get a single bit of the catch slightly wrong otherwise he wouldn't have ended up catching the ball," said Hussain.
"He had a look to see where the boundary was, took the catch and then realised he's going over so he throws it back; he gets his foot down in play first and takes the ball left-handed.
"Maxwell can do these things because he's absolutely brilliant in the field but also because he doesn't panic at any stage. It was just brilliant.
"He is an outstanding cricketer. He hit a magnificent 85 and took a couple of wickets too, don't forget."
Australia took the decision to rest Mitchell Starc, the leading one-day bowler in world cricket, for the match - a selection decision that surprised Hussain.
"They rested Starc for this game but a lot of the players in this team have come in for this one-day series, so it hasn't been a four-month tour for them. This is a new set of lads.
"I was surprised they left Starc out, to be honest, in the same way I was surprised that England left Steven Finn out.
"These are massive games now. Will Starc come back in for the final game? You view every game as though you need to win it."
Watch the fifth and final ODI between England and Australia live on Sky Sports 2 this Sunday from 10am.