5 talking points ahead of England’s ODI in Ireland
We look at some of the key issues ahead of the contest.
World Cup favourites England face Ireland on Friday, their first fixture of an exciting World Cup/Ashes summer.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the key issues ahead of the one-day international.
All eyes on Alex
Alex Hales’ dramatic removal from the England squad presents the team with a huge, unwanted distraction. Captain Eoin Morgan has said the team were united in their verdict that the batsman must go after reports emerged that he had failed two recreational drug tests but Nottinghamshire have decided to reintegrate him immediately. That means he will be in action – and hungry for runs – against Durham during England’s ODI against Ireland.
Archer sets his target
After months of debates and discussions, Jofra Archer will finally become an England player in Malahide. The Bajan paceman is judged by many as a potential X-factor performer but has a limited amount of time to prove he should be added to the World Cup squad. Fresh from an impressive showing in the Indian Premier League, the Sussex man will be hoping to make a statement against the Irish.
Opportunity knocks for Vince
There are almost no winners from the Hales imbroglio but it is hard to argue that James Vince’s status has improved. The in-form Hampshire batsman was probably expecting to watch the World Cup unfold from afar but is now firm favourite to take the vacated role of utility batsman. A confident showing here would all-but guarantee it.
Denly winds back the clock
Creeping firmly under the radar amid all the other intrigue is the return of Joe Denly to England’s 50-over team after a decade away. The last of his nine ODI caps came against Australia in October 2009 but he has slipped back into the reckoning due to his late blossoming leg-spin and versatile batting. At the moment his value to the team is mostly theoretical, though, and he must prove there is substance to match.
Former Surrey and Derbyshire wicketkeeper-batsman Gary Wilson faced an uncertain future when he missed the recent Afghanistan series due to concerns over his eyesight. At the age of 33 he must have feared for his international future but he has recovered sufficiently to reclaim his place in the middle order and will win his 100th cap.