Morgan ready for biggest stage
If Eoin Morgan is intimidated by the prospect of making his Test debut, he is doing a good job of hiding it. Asked whether he has the patience to occupy the crease for four hours, his answer is simple: "I think so. I might get 400, but that wouldn't be a bad start."
We are at a sunny Lord's, two days before the start of another Test summer. Outside on the Nursery ground, the touring Bangladesh team are going through a series of fielding drills. Inside the indoor school, the man Nasser Hussain calls the most exciting England player to emerge since a certain Kevin Pietersen is full of the joys of spring.
Morgan being Morgan, even when he goes on the defensive it is all about attacking.
Would he be worried about getting out to one of his famously unorthodox shots in a Test match at headquarters?
"Absolutely not," he responds. "I've played the reverse sweep millions of times. I've got out to it 10% of the time, but 90% of the time it's scored me runs. If it's going to score me a lot of runs, then absolutely I'll play it."
Morgan goes on the offensive for England
Morgan's elevation from Twenty20 to the Test squad might puzzle some of the traditionalists inside the MCC committee rooms. Forget the manner of his run-scoring for the moment, this is more about his totals.
He has a first-class batting average of just 36. Last season, he struggled to get it above 25. Michael Carberry, another Test hopeful, averages almost 43. Even Ed Joyce, the last left-handed Irishman to get close to the senior England side, averages 44.7 - and he has just abandoned his Test hopes to return to the Irish one-day side.
How can anyone be sure he can take his ebullient one-day and T20 form into the more demanding five-day game?
"Last year, I was a bit ill-disciplined in my game," he concedes. "My head wasn't in the right place and we played a lot of consecutive games when I just couldn't seem to get a score under my belt. I'd started off in the one-day series against Australia and didn't do very well - I struggled to get a score. I got a couple of 50s - that was about it. I hadn't spent time at the crease. A lot has changed since then."
Morgan himself admits that he hasn't always been the most disciplined cricketer. When you possess the hand-eye coordination that he does and can play the sort of improvised shots that directly contravene almost everything in the MCC coaching manual, the more prosaic side of the game can conversely be harder to master.
"In the last six months I've worked very hard on my basics alongside some of the senior guys," he says. "I've picked their brains quite a lot and Andy Flower has pushed me.
"He's been quite a big factor. He's being telling me to do the simple things well, which has helped my game massively. That allows you to get yourself in and spend time at the crease - then I can start to express myself. Once you get in, it's yours to decide."
Morgan is not the first batsman to be picked on more than mere numbers. Michael Vaughan's first-class average when he was initially picked for England was a meagre 33, while Marcus Trescothick's opportunity as a Test player came similarly from success in the one-day game. Just as Duncan Fletcher backed his hunch on those batsmen, so Flower sees something worth a gamble in the 23-year-old Dubliner.
"If I could be as good as those two, I wouldn't mind," says Morgan with a smile. "I feel in a good position at the moment. I'm in good enough nick to back myself to make some runs. I've played a hell of a lot of one-day cricket and I've been in certain situations that probably other people haven't.
"Batting in the middle order, you can be in every situation possible. I take confidence from knowing that I've put these big performances in under pressure."
What of Pietersen? Does Morgan take inspiration from the Test success of another unique unorthodox?
"It does encourage me. I get a lot of confidence from playing with Kevin. He's a fantastic cricketer and, like him, if I feel in good nick, I'll play normally.
"If the game does dictate a certain shot and the percentages are in my favour, I'll play it - there's no doubt about that. There's a mind-set of just going out and batting, making the bowler do what you dictate to him and his field, rather than the other way round."
Morgan's displays of daring and derring-do at the World Twenty20, a key plank in England's success, have done more than raise his cricketing profile. Earlier this week, he found himself invited to Downing Street with the rest of the team to meet the new Prime Minister, David Cameron.
Eoin Morgan, Craig Kieswetter and Kevin Pietersen at Downing Street with David Cameron
"He knew a lot more of the Australian grounds than I did. I was like, 'I haven't actually been there, so I don't know what you're talking about.'"
Is it true that David Cameron referred to Paul Collingwood as 'Colin'? "Yes. I think he was more excited about the Ashes than we were. He was buzzing off the fact that he might get a free trip over there."
Morgan is well aware of the pitfalls that may lie in wait for him. The travails of Jonathan Trott on the winter tours of South Africa and Bangladesh after a dream start against Australia tell one tale about how tough Test cricket can be; Ravi Bopara's nightmarish run of form after three consecutive centuries against the West Indies a year ago another.
That his own bow - should he get the nod on Thursday, as expected - takes place against Bangladesh, on a ground he knows so well, should make the task a little easier.
Morgan polished his unconventional skills with Middlesex, has lived up the road in Finchley ever since coming to the United Kingdom and has even stepped out at Lord's in a Test before, coming on as 12th man for Matthew Hoggard against the West Indies three summers ago. His mother, father and brother are coming over from Ireland to watch from the stands this week.
"I feel very comfortable here," he says, glancing out over the famous old ground. "I've been here for quite a long time now and I really enjoy it."
Morgan once said he found the longer forms of cricket boring. Not any more. This is a man ready for the biggest challenges cricket can offer.
"Test cricket is where I want to be and where I want to test myself against the best," he adds. "It's my biggest aspiration and biggest dream. I grew up watching England play Test cricket and I wanted to be like my heroes. That's where I want to be."