England vs Ireland: Irish coach Heinrich Malan rejects ‘England B’ series label

England vs Ireland: Irish coach Heinrich Malan rejects 'England B' series label

Andrew Balbirnie (centre) stepped down as white-ball captain following Ireland's failure in June to qualify for this year's World Cup
Ireland will be in one-day action for the first time since their failure at the World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe three months ago

Ireland coach Heinrich Malan says his side are “excited” going into the one-day series against England even though the world champions will parade a largely second-string selection.

This has led to some describing the England selection as their “B side”.

“I don’t think you look at any side as being a B side,” said the Irish coach.

“You look at some of the quality players they’ve got in there. It’s all players who have done really, really well in The Hundred that’s obviously just been completed.

“There are some players in there with some real form and a nice addition of Joe Root this morning coming to play the first game so we’re really excited about testing ourselves in that space.”

Zak Crawley will captain England for the first time while Warwickshire batter Sam Hain, Surrey wicketkeeper-batter Jamie Smith and Derbyshire bowler George Scrimshaw are in line for their debuts after being named in the squad.

Further games at Trent Bridge and Bristol

The series, which continues with Saturday’s game at Trent Bridge before next Tuesday’s concluding match in Bristol, will see Ireland in one-day action for the first time since their hugely disappointing failure at the World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe three months ago.

On that occasion, defeats by Oman, Scotland and Sri Lanka ended Ireland’s hopes of reaching a first 50-World Cup since 2015 and Andrew Balbirnie then stepped down as white-ball captain with Paul Stirling appointed interim skipper for the remainder of the summer.

An official review into Ireland’s qualifying campaign in Zimbabwe is scheduled for completion in the coming weeks.

“We’ve obviously been straight into preparing for this series and we’ll catch up with the [Cricket Ireland] board and the decision-makers post this series and get some feedback across so that everyone is aware where we’re at, what’s been identified and what we’re looking to do moving forward,” added Malan.

The Ireland coach said his side’s failure to reach the World Cup “still hurts” with the country’s failure to be involved in October and November also meaning Cricket Ireland misses out on the $1m it would have received from the International Cricket Council for qualification.

Curtis Campher plays a square cut during Ireland's T20 game against India at Malahide on 20 August
Curtis Campher will move up the batting order to number three for the England series

In terms of Ireland’s selection for this week’s series, Curtis Campher is set to move up the batting order to three with Balbirnie back opening alongside Stirling after Andy McBrine was tried in the role during the World Cup qualifiers.

“Curtis has played a sort of rescue role for us a fair few times when we’ve been in trouble early doors and shown that he’s got some real quality and capabilities,” continued Malan.

“In terms of facing the new ball, he’s a very good player of playing hard pace, especially if it’s short, and it’s probably the next step in terms of the natural progression of his career moving up the order.”

The last international meeting between the countries saw England earn a dominant 10-wicket Test victory on day three at Lord’s in June, which came a couple of weeks before Ireland’s chastening experience in Zimbabwe.

However, the Irish actually won the last one-day meeting between the countries at Southampton in August 2020 when centuries by Stirling and Balbirnie helped them chase down England’s 328 – as they earned a seven-wicket victory.

The now-retired Kevin O’Brien is the member of that victorious side not in this week’s Ireland squad which includes uncapped New Zealand-born left-arm spinner Theo van Woerkom.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top