Cricket

Stronger Irish fight needed as visitors aim to level series


AFGHANISTAN VS IRELAND IN INDIA, 2019

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Ireland will be hoping for an improved performance against the Afghanistan spinners © AFP

Having arrived in India on February 18, it has been almost three weeks in the country for the Irish team, there hasn’t been too many pleasant news for them; going into the sixth game of their tour, they are yet to give Afghanistan any stress in Dehradun. They may be two teams who have gained significant ascendancy in world cricket over the last decade but if the performance in the ongoing tour is anything to go by there is as much of a significant gulf between them.

Tim Murtagh, the Ireland pacer, has testified for the lack of fight put up by Ireland so far. However, he added while the effort was ‘meek’ in the first one-dayer, they did better in the washed out encounter on Saturday, and is hoping things will only go on to get better from hereon.

Afghanistan, on the other hand, have been clinical, entertaining and commanded authority so far. Their spinners and power hitters have displayed enough to prove that the side is keeping up with the times, much unlike Ireland who were expected to do better in the 50-over format. And going in to the third match of the series, that will yet again be the threat.

For Ireland to overcome Afghanistan, apart from expecting them to self-destruct, they will not only need better individual performances but also sustained dominance across the 100 overs of play.

When: Afghanistan vs Ireland, 3rd ODI

Where: Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Dehradun

What to expect: After a few days of rainfall, it is expected to be sunny in Dehradun

Team News:

Afghanistan: Even as the series is still open, Afghanistan – who have a big bench for this series – might look to experiment, keeping in mind their World Cup preparations. So, don’t be surprised if some big players are rested.

Ireland: The Irish don’t have to look much beyond this series. And with most bowlers having done a reasonable job so far, they are unlikely to make any changes.

What they said:

“Having put in a fairly meek performance in the first game, there were some positives to take out of it, now we’ve got a few days to rest and recover and get ourselves up for Tuesday.” – Tim Murtagh.

Squads:

Afghanistan: Asghar Afghan(c), Mohammad Shahzad, Noor Ali Zadran, Javed Ahmadi, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Samiullah Shenwari, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Ikram Ali Khil, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Rashid Khan, Karim Janat, Gulbadin Naib, Aftab Alam, Dawlat Zadran, Zahir Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Shapoor Zadran, Sayed Shirzad, Fareed Malik

Ireland: William Porterfield(c), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, James Cameron-Dow, George Dockrell, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Tim Murtagh, James McCollum, Kevin O Brien, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker

© Cricbuzz

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