Ireland buckles up to Head-on West Indies at home

 . Last updated on August 31, 2017, 3:44 PM
Ireland buckles up to Head-on West Indies at home
Paul Stirling retuned fit to the team, together with Niall O Brien.


The scheduled ODI between Ireland and West Indies is a big boost for West Indies cricket. The match is on September 13 in Belfast. It is of much importance for Ireland Cricket as the match is the first fixture after the nation received Test status. The team was conferred Test status in June 2017 by ICC. Ireland Cricket recently announced its 14-man team that would tussle the West Indies team visiting the isle nation. The match will be held at Civil Service Cricket Club. The team has included two players to replace two others. Barry McCarthy and Craig Young are dropped from the team. They were injured are with fitness issue at present.

To replace McCarthy and Young, Paul Stirling and Niall O'Brien are recalled to the team. Both are pace options for the team. Per John Bracewell, the coach of Ireland, McCarthy will need at least 3 to 4 weeks to recover. While, Bracewell might be off the ground for eight to ten weeks. He will undergo an elbow surgery. McCarthy injured his thumb while practicing. Although the coach is worried over the layoffs due to fitness, he is also hopeful about the two new inclusions in the team. McCarthy and Young are the top fast bowlers of the team now and were considered as the prime bets against the Caribbean team.

The coach marked George Dockrell to spearhead the bowling attack. This has taken the strategy from pace to spin. The bowler is now through a tough form and had a 'prolific' domestic cricket. With him, the team became heavy with spin options. Meanwhile, the recalled players, Paul Stirling, and Niall O'Brien, are strong batsmen. Ireland, thus balanced its team formation with batting options and spin bowling. On the other side, West Indies bolstered their strength with players like Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels.

For West Indies winning the match would increase their chance to qualify automatically for the 2019 World Cup. Since, it is ranked 9, it would be quite difficult for the team to pull itself. Rest aside, the match between Ireland and West Indies is expected to be "a great occasion for players and fans alike" as Bracewell speculated.

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