Dockrell set for his 200th cap as Ireland prepare for Afghan duel
George Dockrell will win his 200th cap in Dehradun, north-east India, today and will be looking to make another telling all-round contribution as Ireland take on Afghanistan with their one-day international series tied at 1-1 with two games to play.
Dockrell came into the international set-up as a left-arm spinner in 2010 but he has developed the batting side of his game over the past few seasons and proved a doughty partner for match-winner Andy Balbirnie on Tuesday, making a solid half-century as Ireland levelled the series.
"It's important to keep improving all aspects of your game," the 26-year-old Leinster star said.
"I was a batter at under-age level, and I've been encouraged to keep working on my batting over the years. Batting, bowling and fielding - they all have to be as good as they can possibly be.
"You look at teams around the world and see there are guys coming in lower down the order and winning matches."
Dockrell has been entrusted with a pivotal role at No 6 in the ODIs - a position he could yet fill in next week's Test match - and has shown he is capable of providing the consistency and quick-scoring threat that is a hallmark of Ireland's opponents.
"In the T20s the Afghans showed some pretty incredible power hitting that we weren't able to keep up with," Dockrell admitted.
"It was a huge challenge trying to minimise their ability to strike the ball in those games but the longer ODIs are definitely a format that suit us."
Dockrell wasn't selected for Ireland's inaugural Test against Pakistan last summer on a much more seamer-friendly surface at Malahide but he knows two more solid ODI performances with bat and ball could put him in line for a very special cap next week.