Seamer Craig Young is suffering from an elbow injury © Getty Images/Sportsfile
Seamers Barry McCarthy, who has fractured his right thumb, and Craig Young, who is nursing an elbow injury, were ruled out of Ireland’s one-off ODI against West Indies on September 13 in Belfast. Wicketkeeper-batsman Niall O’Brien and offspinning allrounder Paul Stirling, though, returned from injuries. Left-arm spinner George Dockrell, who had missed Ireland’s Intercontinental Cup match against Netherlands, also made a comeback.
In the absence of McCarthy and Young, Peter Chase, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Boyd Rankin are the seam options in the 14-member squad. Rankin appears set for his first ODI since June 2016. A back injury had kept Rankin out for most of Ireland’s matches this year. He had played the Intercontinental Cup match against Netherlands earlier this month.
Ireland’s spin department is well stacked with no less than six options, including legspinner Jacob Mulder, whose last ODI appearance came against Afghanistan in March this year. Mulder, too, was part of the Intercontinental Cup team, along with batsman John Anderson, who has not played an international for Ireland since September 2016.
“It’s disappointing that both Barry and Craig are ruled out but we have other options in the seam-bowling department,” Ireland coach John Bracewell said.
“On the plus side we have Paul Stirling and Niall O’Brien back from injury and that will certainly bolster the batting. George Dockrell has been in prolific form in domestic cricket and he is recalled too, which means we have no fewer than six spinning options in the squad.”
Bracewell was wary of West Indies, who bounced back from a heavy innings defeat in the first Test to stun England in the second, with Shai Hope’s twin hundreds playing a big role. The return of Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels also lends more depth to the side.
“The West Indies showed incredible character to bounce back after losing the opening Test heavily against England, and showed just how dangerous and talented a side they truly are,” Bracewell said. “They will have double-centurion Shai Hope in their ranks for the Belfast clash, and when you add Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels into the mix then it’s a very dangerous group of players. “
Ireland have recent history on their side, having chased down 305 against West Indies, during the previous clash between the two sides, in the 2015 World Cup in Nelson.
Ireland squad: William Porterfield (capt), John Anderson, Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Jacob Mulder, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh , Paul Stirling, Gary Wilson (wk).
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo