MATCH: Ireland vs England
VENUE: The Village, Malahide, Dublin
TIME: 09:45 GMT
The England side of late has struggled in every format of cricket. They managed to win a test in the Caribbean, but that was followed by an embarrassing loss to the hosts in the third test. Eoin Morgan, as the ODI skipper has been simply miserable. Ever since he was made in charge of England’s ODI team, he has struggled to get the runs. It clearly seems that axing Alastair Cook from the ODI setup has done no wonders to this England side. Moreover, the clock is ticking rapidly for Peter Moores, and he continues to remain under the scrutiny of English cricket fans.
The Irish on the other hand would be beaming with confidence. They resume after an impressive outing in the ICC World Cup 2015. They might have not made it to the knockouts, but they were fantastic in the group stage of the tournament and that is something which is difficult to ignore. They chased down a total in excess of 300 against the West Indies without breaking a sweat. Batting is a key factor which amplifies the Irish side. This surely is their best chance to defeat rivals England.
The World Cup was just a nightmare for England. They began the World Cup after being runners up in a tri series featuring India and Australia. Twice, they defeated India. But not to forget, that was an exhausted and fatigued Indian side. In the World Cup, they were humiliated by Bangladesh and like Ireland, were knocked out from the very first round. A loss over here will mean downright shame for them.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
The Irish skipper has been a vocal critic of the ICC in recent times over their views regarding the participation of associates in the World Cup. Porterfield personally had a ravishing World Cup and scored a fine century against Pakistan in Adelaide. He has 7 centuries in ODIs and the Ireland skipper would surely want to make it 8 against England. Defeating a member of the Big 3 would surely be a major boost for him as well as Cricket Ireland.
The former England batsman, who now dons the Irish colors also, had a fantastic 2015 World Cup. In the mega event, Joyce had a century and a half century to his name. The half century came in a winning chase against the West Indies. Joyce loves to drive the ball in the V, and will relish batting at number 3. In case Ireland is dented early, it will be his responsibility to build the innings by rotating the strike.
There have been several cricketers who have been termed as “talented”, but find it hard to transform that talent into the international arena. Hales is surely one of them. After scoring heavily in T20Is and in the domestic circuit, Hales was drafted into the ODI side and made his debut against India in August last year. Since then in 9 games, he averages a disappointing 21.11. This is the ideal opportunity for Hales to make a mark.
Finn, who began the World Cup with a hat-trick against Australia, then faded off in the later stages. He lost his rhythm and was entirely wayward. He was dropped after his poor show against Sri Lanka. He made a comeback in international cricket last year after struggling from excess stress. With other seamers doing well, this might well be among the final opportunities for Finn.
Both the sides look even-stevens and Ireland winning should not be treated as an upset.