Sunday 25 February 2018

Cricket: Dockrell bids to put England in a spin

George Dockrell. Photo: Getty Images
George Dockrell. Photo: Getty Images

Teenager George Dockrell is under no illusions just how hard it is going to be for Ireland to get their first World Cup points on the board against England tomorrow -- especially on a pitch full of runs in Bangalore.

India and England scored 338 each at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday to tie a thrilling Group B encounter that was in stark contrast to Ireland's low-scoring defeat in Dhaka.

"It's quite a small stadium here with a fast outfield and a good pitch so we know it's going to be tough on the bowlers," said Dockrell, who plays his club cricket for Leinster. "We'll have to work hard if we're going to keep the England total down. Getting the field settings and things like that right is going to be quite tough and very different from our first game."

The 18-year-old left-arm spinner claimed 2-23 on his World Cup debut on Friday and was one of the few players who could hold his head up after the demoralising loss to Bangladesh.

"We took a lot of positives from that game," he said. "It was a good bowling performance from us. The batting went wrong in a few places but we're quite confident coming into this game now."

There are grounds for that optimism too, because Ireland came within a boundary of beating England the last time the sides met in an ODI, in Belfast, and gave the eventual champions a huge scare in last year's World T20.

Dockrell impressed by bowling his four overs for 19 runs in the T20 game before rain forced an abandonment in Guyana and he is not intimidated by the prospect of facing Kevin Pietersen et al.

"I've bowled to a few of the guys before," he said. "Obviously they are slightly different wickets out here in India, and a different situation, but I'll take a bit of confidence into this game.


"There were a few balls that definitely turned for the spinners (on Sunday) but it's going to be harder and obviously you can't get too downhearted if you're not bowling a spell for 23. So I'll be trying to hit my areas and not get too frustrated."

One bowler who will be welcoming a bit of bounce in the surface is Boyd Rankin, who suffered on the dead strip in Dhaka. Coach Phil Simmons has one selection decision ahead of the match -- who to leave out for the fit-again Alex Cusack. Andrew White could be the unlucky man.

England v Ireland,

Live, tomorrow, Sky Sports 1, 8.30

Irish Independent

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