Preview: England look to improve against a determined Ireland

Kevin Pietersen in the nets during England’s practice

Preview: England look to improve against a determined Ireland

By Suneer Chowdhary

Bengaluru: Mar 2, 2011

The two teams that take each other on Wednesday at Bangalore, England and Ireland will be relieved at the prospect of playing a quieter game. One which allows the batsmen to hear their partner s calls and the fielders to hear their captains. And not have to worry about what most foreign teams to this part of the world strategise about quietening the crowd.

England had played their last game at this very ground on Sunday. The only other crowd that gave the noise at the M Chinnaswamy a run for their money was the one at Shere Bangla at Dhaka for Ireland s opening encounter against the hosts. England have much more experience of playing in the sub-continent and even they would have been surprised by the response, while Ireland would have been befuddled.

March 2nd could see a sense of normalcy returning for the two sides.

With more pressing matters to think about, it only augurs well for the two teams. England have yet to lose a game in this World Cup and have had two woeful performances with the ball. Ireland, on the other hand, had a decent start to the warm-ups with the bat but capitulated to the spin-pace combination against Bangladesh. Their highest score in the game was 38.

It would be interesting to observe how England get their pumping adrenaline back to normal levels after a gripping game on Sunday. There are two ways of looking at having a game up so early after that India-match; the players would look to get back on field and forget brooding about it but at the same time, it wouldn t have afforded them too much to recover from the Sunday hullabaloo.

There is of course, the issue of Stuart Broad s upset stomach, which may not have been helped by the stress caused by the fluctuating India-match. The decision to play him or not will be taken few hours before the start of the game. If he does make it to the playing eleven, there is a good chance that Ajmal Shahzad, who had a bad day on the field and with the ball, could make way. On form, the management may also be toying with the idea of according James Anderson 1 for 91 versus India a break as well.

Against India, England had called up Michael Yardy in place of Ravi Bopara. The experiment seemed to have worked in the hindsight. Yardy cranked up his pace enough for one to term him a medium-pacer than a spinner and he conceded only 64 off his ten overs.

Ireland surprised many with their ability to adjust to the typically sub-continental track at Shere Bangla. The medium-pacers had made life difficult for the Bangladeshi while the lone spinner in the side, George Dockrell ended with figures of 2 for 23 against batsmen whose profession seems to stem from feeding off the slower bowlers.

However, that was a different track. By the time the game had reached its final lap, there was enough abrasion in it for Shafiul Islam to get some reverse-swing going. Bangalore will be much flatter and the roles could be reversed the batsmen may find it easier to get a move on but the medium-pacers will struggle to get the same traction that they had from the Dhaka pitch.

The three times that the two sides have played in this format of the game, England have won all. That said, Ireland had chased in all the three games and gone down by 38, 48 and three runs respectively an indication that things were not as rosy as the 3-0 margin indicates. While the perils of an anti-climatic end always possess a high probability with an Associate nation, this could be a cracker of a game as well.

England (Probable): Andrew Strauss (c), Kevin Pietersen, Jonathon Trott, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior (wk), Michael Yardy, Ajmal Shahzad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Tim Bresnan.

Ireland (Probable): William Porterfield (c), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O Brien, Andrew White, Kevin O Brien, Andre Botha, John Mooney, Trent Johnston, George Dockrell, Boyd Rankin

Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and Billy Bowden (New Zealand)

Time: 14.30 hours local (09.00 GMT)

(Suneer is a Mumbai-based cricket writer and can be contacted at suneerchowdhary@gmail.com and Tweets here: @suneerchowdhary)

Pictures Getty Images

By Suneer Chowdhary


Bengaluru: Mar 2, 2011

The two teams that take each other on Wednesday at Bangalore, England and Ireland will be relieved at the prospect of playing a quieter game. One which allows the batsmen to hear their partner s calls and the fielders to hear their captains. And not have to worry about what most foreign teams to this part of the world strategise about quietening the crowd.

England had played their last game at this very ground on Sunday. The only other crowd that gave the noise at the M Chinnaswamy a run for their money was the one at Shere Bangla at Dhaka for Ireland s opening encounter against the hosts. England have much more experience of playing in the sub-continent and even they would have been surprised by the response, while Ireland would have been befuddled.

March 2nd could see a sense of normalcy returning for the two sides.

With more pressing matters to think about, it only augurs well for the two teams. England have yet to lose a game in this World Cup and have had two woeful performances with the ball. Ireland, on the other hand, had a decent start to the warm-ups with the bat but capitulated to the spin-pace combination against Bangladesh. Their highest score in the game was 38.

It would be interesting to observe how England get their pumping adrenaline back to normal levels after a gripping game on Sunday. There are two ways of looking at having a game up so early after that India-match; the players would look to get back on field and forget brooding about it but at the same time, it wouldn t have afforded them too much to recover from the Sunday hullabaloo.

There is of course, the issue of Stuart Broad s upset stomach, which may not have been helped by the stress caused by the fluctuating India-match. The decision to play him or not will be taken few hours before the start of the game. If he does make it to the playing eleven, there is a good chance that Ajmal Shahzad, who had a bad day on the field and with the ball, could make way. On form, the management may also be toying with the idea of according James Anderson 1 for 91 versus India a break as well.

Against India, England had called up Michael Yardy in place of Ravi Bopara. The experiment seemed to have worked in the hindsight. Yardy cranked up his pace enough for one to term him a medium-pacer than a spinner and he conceded only 64 off his ten overs.

Ireland surprised many with their ability to adjust to the typically sub-continental track at Shere Bangla. The medium-pacers had made life difficult for the Bangladeshi while the lone spinner in the side, George Dockrell ended with figures of 2 for 23 against batsmen whose profession seems to stem from feeding off the slower bowlers.

However, that was a different track. By the time the game had reached its final lap, there was enough abrasion in it for Shafiul Islam to get some reverse-swing going. Bangalore will be much flatter and the roles could be reversed the batsmen may find it easier to get a move on but the medium-pacers will struggle to get the same traction that they had from the Dhaka pitch.

The three times that the two sides have played in this format of the game, England have won all. That said, Ireland had chased in all the three games and gone down by 38, 48 and three runs respectively an indication that things were not as rosy as the 3-0 margin indicates. While the perils of an anti-climatic end always possess a high probability with an Associate nation, this could be a cracker of a game as well.

Teams:


England (Probable): Andrew Strauss (c), Kevin Pietersen, Jonathon Trott, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior (wk), Michael Yardy, Ajmal Shahzad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Tim Bresnan.

Ireland (Probable): William Porterfield (c), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O Brien, Andrew White, Kevin O Brien, Andre Botha, John Mooney, Trent Johnston, George Dockrell, Boyd Rankin

Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and Billy Bowden (New Zealand)

Time: 14.30 hours local (09.00 GMT)

(Suneer is a Mumbai-based cricket writer and can be contacted at suneerchowdhary@gmail.com and Tweets here: @suneerchowdhary)

Pictures Getty Images