Ireland v England: Three talking points as Eoin Morgan stars
Ireland v England: Harry Kemble looks back at Tuesday's ODI as Eoin Morgan's men won by an emphatic six wickets
Host of young players but ‘old’ heads still at the fore
England named a vastly changed side to the one that came so close to winning the Champions Trophy in June. On Tuesday, there were six changes in all with a whole host of promising talents coming in – three of which were debutants. Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance, Boyd Rankin and Michael Carberry made long-awaited ODI bows, while James Taylor and Ben Stokes both received recalls. There has been plenty of criticism from both the media and the public over the ECB’s decision to rest such a high number of household stars but England’s side certainly had an exciting feel to it. Hopefully it will put them in good stead come the World Cup 2015 Down Under. Yet, it was Eoin Morgan and the born-again Ravi Bopara who led England to victory by six wickets. Morgan’s 124 off 106 balls provided a much-needed return to form for the Irish-born batsman, and Bopara, well, his season is going from strength-to-strength, especially when you think he was considering his future in the professional game just 12 months ago.
Morgan’s vital knock
The 26-year-old has had an innocuous season to say the least. He would have faced a long-spell in the Middlesex second eleven if he hadn’t shown his capabilities in the international arena in years gone by. Still a record of five hundreds in 103 ODIs isn’t exactly on par with the cream of limited-overs’ stars across the world. It was his first three-figure score for England in three years but Tuesday’s match-winning knock will have done him the world of good in front of his ‘home’ crowd. He must kick-on now, both on and off the pitch. You feel with Morgan, he needs to make the right decisions away from the field of play, just as much as he needs to get his head down and make some ‘dirty’ runs for both county and country on it.
Ireland just short of troubling top nations
All credit to Ireland, they posed England problems throughout the RSA Challenge in Dublin. They just lack the support bowlers to compete with the stronger nations of world cricket. England were between a rock and a hard place at 48 for four but were allowed off the hook. After Ireland bowlers Tim Murtagh and the 39-year-old Trent Johnston went for a whopping 201 runs in 26 overs. Morgan and Bopara were allowed to milk the bowlers to get back in the game before smashing it to all parts to cruise home with seven overs to spare.