England will face Ireland in Group 1 of the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, with the net run rate already being a talking point after the first round of matches. England have only played Ireland once in T20Is, way back in 2010, with rain putting an end to what could have been a pretty entertaining match as England finished at 120/8 in their 20 overs. Ten years and four T20 World Cups later, England’s T20 batting has undergone a remarkable metamorphosis, so much so that this time they boast one of the best batting formations in the tournament. England’s focus will not only be on the win, but also on the net run rate in a group where the dreaded decimal point stat could easily be a bummer. Australia gave them a boost with Marcus Stoinis accentuating Aaron Finch’s slow knock with sparkle from the other side. New Zealand is already pretty much on top with their huge margin against Australia.
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Sri Lanka also has a win under their belt and is currently above Australia and below England. Winning would be a priority, as Buttler rightly pointed out in the pre-match press conference, and England certainly wouldn’t see Ireland as pushovers after their first-round performance. “Anytime you take things for granted or you don’t respect the opposition you can get hurt. I think especially in T20 cricket there’s a format where it’s a level playing field,” Buttler said before the game. Ireland was at its peak after their thumping victory over the West Indies to qualify for the Super 12, but have been brought back to the ground after a nine-wicket loss to Sri Lanka. Their promising batting line-up offers a lot of hope, but to beat England, Ireland will need the bowling to make a big leap forward. At the MCG, with the big frontier dimensions, limiting England’s big hitters will be the priority.
The spinners, Simi Singh and Gareth Delany, were on and off with the ball, but will have to step up to keep England quiet through the center overs, where they tend to attack much more than other teams. With the bat, the Stirling-Balbirnie pair at the top have quite a bit to do, but it’s probably the likes of Campher, Delany and Tector who can give Ireland’s battle a real push.
ENG vs IRE Dream11 Team Prediction
Goalkeeper – Jos Buttler
Batsmen – Paul Stirling, Alex Hales, Harry Tector
Allrounders – Ben Stokes (C), Sam Curran, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany
Bowlers – Chris Woakes, Mark Wood (VC), Joshua Little
ENG vs IRE Predicted Play XI
England: Jos Buttler (c & wk), Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood
Ireland: Paul Stirling, Andy Balbirnie ©, Lorcan Tucker (World Cup), Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Gareth Delany, Mark Adair, Simi Singh, Barry McCarthy, Josh Little
ENG vs IRE Full Squads
England Squad: Jos Buttler (w/c), Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Liam Livingstone, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Philip Salt, Chris Jordan, David Willey, Tymal Mills
Ireland Squad: Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie (c), Lorcan Tucker (w), Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Gareth Delany, Mark Adair, Simi Singh, Barry McCarthy, Joshua Little, Stephen Doheny, Conor Olphert, Graham Hume , Fionn Hand