Cricket World Cup 2011
Preview: England vs Ireland
George Dockrell warms up. (AFP)
Bangalore - England need to up their net run rate in their tie with Ireland, who will look to strike a blow for the minnows.
Ireland had a great chance against Bangladesh until the batting failed to chase down
206, but now have England in their sights. While the cricket rivalry
between the two countries has yet to reach the level seen in rugby, for
Ireland this is a massive contest where they'll be desperate to make a
statement and cause a shock.
England will need to be on their guard and will want an improvement in
the bowling department which, apart from Graeme Swann against
Netherlands and the immense Tim Bresnan against India, has been below
par. Lifting themselves after the events on Sunday won't be easy.
Ireland have come close to claiming their scalp before. In the hangover
of the 2009 Ashes, England hung on for a two-run victory in Belfast and
at the World Twenty20 last year, Ireland believed they had a good chance
of chasing down 120 before the rain came in Guyana.
Ireland are a leading light among the Associates, showing what is
possible with a well-structured game and a core of experienced players. A
number of mini-battles will be worth watching, including Ed Joyce
against the England attack, the Warwickshire duel of Boyd Rankin bowling
against Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott, and the vastly talented left-arm
spinner George Dockrell.VenueBangalore
, M. Chinnaswamy StadiumForm guide
Ireland LWLLWWatch out for...
George Dockrell will be bowling against potential future team-mates on Wednesday. The 18-year-old left-arm spinner is one of the finest Associate bowlers in the world and has earned himself a county contract with Somerset. The talk is that the England set-up has also taken note of his talent. He showed what he is capable of with the superb figures of 2 for 23 against Bangladesh - a team that should play spin pretty well - and on his Twenty20 international debut he bowled his four overs for 19 against England. His contest against Kevin Pietersen, should Dockrell open the bowling, will be fascinating, but he'll be happy with any scalps to his name.
How long will experience carry Paul Collingwood along? The early stages of his World Cup campaign have not been disastrous by any means - an important innings against Netherlands and a few useful overs - but his wild hack against Zaheer Khan was a disappointing shot. England will stick with him, as they so often have, but a player batting in the top five and supposedly a key bowler needs to produce more than bit-part performances. If England play a five-man attack, are Collingwood's cutters so vital? If not, Ravi Bopara is waiting in the wings.
England: Andrew Strauss (capt), Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior (wk), Michael Yardy, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Ajmal Shahzad
Ireland: William Porterfield (capt), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O'Brien (wk), Andrew White, Kevin O'Brien, Andre Botha, John Mooney, Trent Johnston, George Dockrell, Boyd RankinPitch and conditions
There was a distinct tinge of green to the pitch the day before the game, and the bowlers will hope that's still evident come match day. If not, expect another batting paradise which, coupled with a fast outfield, should lead to another bat-dominated match.Stats and trivia
These two teams met at the 2007 World Cup in Guyana, when England won by 48 runs. They could select five players from that match if Ravi Bopara is recalled, while Ireland can boast eight survivors although one, Ed Joyce, has now switched sides.
If Jonathan Trott scores 64 he will equal Viv Richards and Kevin Pietersen as the fastest player to 1000 runs in one-day internationals.
After his career-best 5 for 48 against India, Tim Bresnan needs four more wickets to reach 50 in ODIs, while Trent Johnston needs two to reach the same milestone .