Lorcan Tucker (week)
Hand of Fionn
Here is the England XI:
Jos Buttler (w/c)
England bowl first
England have won the draw and will play in Melbourne. It’s been raining a bit in the area this morning. England will seek to take advantage of this.
Jos Buttler’s squad have not changed since their game against Afghanistan in Perth.
…to those of you who are motivated enough to brave the wee hours and welcome to live coverage of England’s second game in the T20 World Cup.
Today Jos Buttler’s side take on Ireland at the MCG. Alas, the stands are not packed like they were in the classic clash between India and Pakistan on Sunday, but this match still holds tremendous significance for both teams.
England started their campaign with a fairly solid win over a slippery Afghan side in Perth on Saturday and will now want to kick things off and set a proper benchmark for the rest of the tournament.
Don’t get me wrong, this England side are among the favorites to emerge as world champions, but they looked nervous in Perth, tiptoeing to 113 from 18 overs after that an excellent performance on the field limited Afghanistan to 112. .
More dominance with the bat will of course be needed and it wouldn’t be a shock to see Buttler and his men loose their shackles somewhat against an Irish side who, while talented, lack the quality of their opponents to today.
The encounter is the first time these two sides have met in ICC competition since Ireland’s historic victory over England in Bangalore at the 2011 World Cup. However, it was an England side in full mutation, this is not the case.
Ireland have shown their pedigree so far in Australia, with a big win over West Indies last week underlining the quality of Andrew Balbirnie’s side.
Whether that’s enough for them to make a dent at this stage of the competition remains to be seen, although the signs weren’t good after a nine-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka on Sunday.
That said, if there is a game in this tournament, the Irish are going to have a bit more in store because this is surely the one.