• England v Ireland, World Cup 2011, Group B, Bangalore

England's bowlers look to prove a point

The Preview by Andrew McGlashan
March 1, 2011
Match Facts March 2, Bangalore
Start time 2.30pm (0900 GMT)

Andrew Strauss inspired England to a mammoth total against India last time out © Getty Images

The Big Picture

Has everyone caught their breath after Bangalore's last match? It was an epic tie and the remaining games in the tournament will struggle to match it. Still, this group looks set to provide most of the intrigue over who will make the quarter-finals because Ireland are good enough to upset one of the big teams.

They 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 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 game 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.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)
England TWLLL
Ireland LWLLW

Watch 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.

Team news

England are waiting to see how Stuart Broad responds to training after his stomach bug before declaring him fit to face Ireland and that decision may not come until the morning of the game. If Broad has recovered, James Anderson's place will be under threat after two shocking matches against Netherlands and India. There also remains the wider issue of balance after Michael Yardy came into the side against India, but the middle looked light on hitting power.

England (possible): 1 Andrew Strauss (capt), 2 Kevin Pietersen, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Ian Bell, 5 Paul Collingwood, 6 Matt Prior (wk), 7 Michael Yardy, 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Graeme Swann, 11 Ajmal Shahzad

William Porterfield, the Ireland captain, confirmed they had a fully fit squad to select from but the side they played against Bangladesh was probably the best XI. It's down to the batsmen to put up a better showing, although Alex Cusack is another all-round option should they want to make a change.

England's fielding must improve from the abject showing against Netherlands in their first match © Getty Images

Ireland (possible): 1 William Porterfield (capt), 2 Paul Stirling, 3 Ed Joyce, 4 Niall O'Brien (wk), 5 Andrew White, 6 Kevin O'Brien, 7 Andre Botha, 8 John Mooney, 9 Trent Johnston, 10 George Dockrell, 11 Boyd Rankin

Pitch 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


"He's a lot better today. He's going to practice, and he'll be keen to get out there and bowl some overs in the nets. Broad brings us a bit of height advantage, he just gets that extra bounce. He's good at the death as well, and in the Powerplays. He's a lot more experienced than myself or Ajmal."
Tim Bresnan hopes Stuart Broad will be back to boost the England attack

"The day after the game and that night the lads were pretty gutted. It's no lie, anyone that loses a game like that you're going to be pretty down, but that's professional sport."
William Porterfield admits it took a while to get over the Bangladesh defeat

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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