The disappointment of world cup 2011 so far has been "no disappointment". no major upset. no story where rookies roared over veterns..
Ireland made their debut last world cup, beat Pakistan, and impressed immensly as they moved into super 8s, showing that they were not just a bunch of cricket enthusiasts cashing in on a chance by luck but actually desired a permanent spot in international cricket arena. 4 wild years and another qualification round, green & grey team is back on world cup stage and it's time they exerted themselves on some of major teams and caused an upset. if not two or even three.
Today, Ireland clash with neighbours England whom they can never thank enough for turning 13 off 15 of their players into professional cricketers (courtsey county cricket) even though a win at Bengaluru would be more than memorable. Ireland have a batting capable of consuming full quota of 50 overs and they also have bowlers who can control opposition, besides being a high class fielding team while England, on other hand, will want to play a fatherly figure in this match by not hurting their inexperienced opponents too bad but extract a comfortable win. here's how these two teams stand before the battle begins :-
Head to head
Three previous meetings and all three have been won by England but last encounter went close where margin was just 3 runs. The only time these two teams met in world cup was in 2007 edition at Providence when England won by 48 runs.
Tournament so far
England survived Netherlands scare in first game but real dissatisfaction came against India where they did almost everything but couldn't make the winning run while Ireland should have won their first and only game so far versus Bangladesh but pressure got to them and they fell 27 run short of 206 run target.
Having being forced to chase down two tall totals in both games so far, England's batting has found it's form specially captain Andrew Strauss who is leading scorer world cup 2011 so far. Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott have spent quality time in the middle although runs are yet to flow off Paul Collingwood's bat. Graeme Swann and Michael Yardy are two spinners who can exploit the conditions but experienced James Anderson is leaking runs, failing to find his length in Indian conditions which makes a case of resting him in place of Stuart Broad who returns after fixing his stomach bug.
England (itsonlycricket's pick) : Andrew Strauss (captain), Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior, Tim Bresnan, Michael Yardy, Graeme Swann, Ajmal Shahzad and Stuart Broad.
Ed Joyce, who played for England in previous world cup, will want to send a reminder to british selectors for neglecting him back to his old team. Skipper William Porterfield is doing his job of negotiating the new ball but talented youngster Paul Stirling needs to prove his worth. O'Brien brother, Niall & Kevin, will command the middle order with stabilizer Andre Botha. Trent Johnston and Boyd Rankin will take the new ball but the boy to watch out for is 18 year old George Dockrell, a mighty accurate left arm spinner who has a nice loop.
Ireland (itsonlycricket's pick) : William Porterfield (captain), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O'Brien, Andre Botha, Kevin O'Brien, Andrew White, Trent Johnston, John Mooney, George Dockrell and Boyd Rankin.
676 runs were scored here in the last game yet we didn't find a winner. Bengaluru is one of most favorite cricketing venues in India and conditions are perfect for a high scoring game and even they weather has cleared up after last week's on & off rain.
"For any Irish sports team, playing against an English team is always pretty special for us - and especially to people back home", says Ireland captain William Porterfield, summarizing their exitement.
"Jimmy's (James Anderson has) got a lot of skills. Anyone who writes a guy of that quality off is pretty naive", says England captain Andrew Strauss, showing his faith in ace speadster.