England v Ireland – The 2nd ODI

There have been great mini-series. I rather liked Camarena, The Drug Wars back in the day. There have been less than great mini-series too. This one looks like a less than great one, and there really isn’t anyone to blame for that other than Father Time. When Sam Billings came back from the IPL, spouting nonsense, that the opposition would be petrified of England, the World ranked #5 team in the format, I do believe, I could be charitable and say he was thinking of Ireland. He obviously wasn’t, but let’s be nice for once.

Tomorrow’s game is at Lord’s, which is nice. A load of teams would give their eye teeth to play an ODI at Lord’s, so it’s bloody disgraceful we haven’t up to now. After all they are our near neighbours, a source of some players, and a potential nice little rivalry if cricket develops the way we all hope it will worldwide. But it is what it is, and Ireland will be feeling a lot of pressure after the display at Bristol which wasn’t so much as lacklustre, as totally dull. Only a couple of players did themselves justice, and they’ll hope that more will come to play this time around.

England, in truth, never needed to get out of the low gears. The relative brevity of the game had one advantage, as I got to hear a lot of less of the increasingly annoying Nasser Hussain, but in other facets, it wasn’t really a great run out for England to test their mettle. England did the bowling job well, but these aren’t the top drawer players, and yet we know a number of the Irish can do a lot better. Jason Roy will need some time under his belt (and the irony of the sky punditry giving us the “it’s the way he plays” defence is really not lost on me) and Alex Hales was also extremely fortunate to get away with his early errors. England to bat first would be the recipe for a bit of batting practice, but the way of this world is to do the job in as an efficient manner as possible.

I have to say I never expected a great display from Ireland, so Friday wasn’t a surprise, but I would love to see one. Where we are pushed, hard, and to blow this bloody complacency that I see in certain sections. Tomorrow is just another day, as Suggs and the boys once sung, but I see another grey day for the boys in green.

Let’s hope not. For my big Irish cricket fan mate if nothing else. He’ll be there tomorrow, and if you sit next to him, or near him, you’ll probably hear him!

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