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Wilson taking up the captaincy as key Irish duo look to bigger picture


By Ian Callender

Gary Wilson will captain Ireland in their four-day game against Somerset, starting at Taunton next Friday, with William Porterfield one of three players from the World Cup qualifying squad not selected.

Porterfield was troubled by a knee injury throughout the tournament in Zimbabwe but battled through the pain to finish as Ireland's leading run scorer. He will see a specialist in the next week to determine the extent of the problem and, with the first Test match just six weeks away, must hope it is nothing serious.

Ed Joyce is the other player being nursed to full fitness for the historic game against Pakistan - he missed two games in Zimbabwe - and is unavailable for next weekend's match as it clashes with an event in his testimonial year.

The other omission is George Dockrell, who, having been dropped in the WCQ group stages, has not been given a chance to win back his place against his former county, with the selectors happy with the form of Andy McBrine and Simi Singh.

It is probable only one specialist spinner will play at Taunton, but selected to make his senior debut as opening batsman, in place of Porterfield, is Jack Tector, who impressed last season for Ireland Wolves and is described by chairman of selectors Andrew White as "one of our few natural opening batsmen".

Squad: G Wilson (capt), A Balbirnie, P Chase, A McBrine, B McCarthy, T Murtagh, K O'Brien, N O'Brien, B Rankin, J Shannon, S Singh, P Stirling, J Tector.

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