Cricket Ireland: Assessing ODI Batting

It’s been two games in the ongoing England-Ireland ODI series, and as expected, Cricket Ireland has lost both. However, the disappointing factor is a lack of fight, against what is England’s second-string team. And unfortunately, the major lack is in their batting performance. Barring the 21-yr old debutant Curtis Campher, none have been able to register a half-century. In this blog, let us breakdown the batting areas that Cricket Ireland shall look back at.

First Powerplay:

In both the games that went by, they haven’t scored beyond the run rate of 3.7 in the first 10 overs. Here, the approach seems to be a waiting game. More or less, approach is to play the shots once the ball gets older. Unfortunately, this seems to be the biggest issue for Cricket Ireland. Yes, the ball moves in the initial few overs but provided that ODI pitches are flat across the world, the waiting game will not pay dividends.

In order to negate that movement, the batsmen will have to make smart moves – like moving across the crease or taking the leg stump guard. From the pair of opening batsmen, at least one shall take a positive approach from the word go. In modern-day cricket, the team is in trouble if it is not scoring runs in access of 4.5 in the first 10 overs – of course with not more than 1 down.

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Technique against Spin

In both the games they played, all batsmen have looked clueless against the spin bowling, especially naive in reading the leggies of Adil Rashid. The way Kevin O’Brien – their most experienced batsmen – got out, it told you the story of underlying issues with the technique. Given the fact, Ireland shall look to hire a spin consultant, who can work on their batsmen’s techniques. If they don’t learn fast, in the limited game experience, their demand for more matches will weaken up.

As the skipper has already suggested, promoting Campher up in the order is a good option. If he can gain some confidence in his current form, he can be a good choice for number four in the long term. At that position, his role shall be to rotate the strike and play through the inning. This shall ensure that he can still play the shots towards the end of the innings.

As a cricketing fraternity, we all wish to see Ireland play the game well. Let’s hope that Cricket Ireland will find the ways to improve their batting, and win the matches as they move forward.

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