05302017

Ireland ‘under huge pressure’ because of Test bid heading into second ODI

Ireland captain William Porterfield walks off after being dismissed in Friday's rout

William Porterfield’s Ireland side were routed by England on Friday

Coach John Bracewell says the looming decision over Test status is putting his Ireland team under “huge pressure” in the one-day series against England.

The Irish folded in Friday’s opener at Bristol as England won by seven wickets and with 30 overs to spare.

The sides meet again at Lord’s on Sunday and Bracewell says his players are now acknowledging the strain.

“I think we were probably sweeping it under the carpet a little bit,” said the former New Zealand coach.

“They are having huge external pressure put on them, carrying the nation’s hope through hundreds of years of history.

“Yesterday, we really felt that. We were trying to pretend it wasn’t there but they’ve recognised that now.

“If something is in the back of your mind, it’s probably in the front of your mind too and you’ve got to clear that out.”

ICC to decide on Ireland Test status in June

Next month could see Ireland granted the Test status they have long sought by the International Cricket Council, but there is now a fear that another drubbing by England at the home of cricket could cause a rethink from the game’s governing body.

Ireland’s performance at Bristol was in marked contrast to their display six years ago in Bangalore when they stunned England at the 2011 World Cup.

A number of British media reports have been scathing of Ireland’s display on Friday, with certain commentators suggesting that several of Bracewell’s squad have now “passed their best”.

The Irish may be without wicketkeeper-batsman Niall O’Brien on Sunday because of a finger injury, and batsman John Anderson has been added to the squad as cover – with Gary Wilson likely to stand in behind the stumps if O’Brien does not feature.

Adil Rashid’s leg-spin caused the Ireland batsmen major problems on Friday and Bracewell says his players are aware they made “poor decisions” in the contest.

“The theme on Sunday will be just ‘one more run’,” added the Ireland coach.

The squads:

England: Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire), Sam Billings (Kent), Ben Duckett (Northamptonshire), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), David Willey (Yorkshire), Mark Wood (Durham)

Ireland: William Porterfield (Warwickshire, capt), Andrew Balbirnie (Leinster Lightning), Peter Chase (Leinster Lightning), George Dockrell (Leinster Lightning), Ed Joyce (Sussex/Leinster Lightning), Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Andrew McBrine (NW Warriors), Barry McCarthy (Leinster Lightning), Kevin O’Brien (Leinster Lightning), Niall O’Brien (NW Warriors, wk), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Stuart Thompson (NW Warriors), Gary Wilson (Derbyshire/Northern Knights, wk), Craig Young (NW Warriors), John Anderson (Leinster Lightning).

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