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September 2, 2013
The Big Picture
This match, regardless of the result, will also mark a historic occasion for Ireland with a record 10,000 sell-out crowd expected at the new stadium in Malahide outside of Dublin.
The Irish have a point to prove. Or, rather, want to continue proving their point. There is a strong feeling their credentials are still not taken seriously by Full Member nations - there continue to be grumbles, some not entirely fair, about the ECB's role - as they maintain their push for Test status by 2020.
As in 2011, England are not sending over a full-strength side although that is not a one-off decision for this match - key players, including captain Alastair Cook, will also miss the Australia one-day series. Eoin Morgan captains the side as he did two years ago, which is another subject to spark debate, while the possible presence of Boyd Rankin in the England attack will stir the emotions.
Ireland had long-since accepted that they had lost Rankin, but to see him make his international debut in a T20 (a format he rarely plays for Warwickshire) and potentially begin the second phase of his ODI career against his former team-mates has not sat easily with many around Dublin and beyond.
Away from the debate about poaching players and the politics of world cricket Rankin is one of a number of England players eager to catch the eye. Gary Ballance, the Yorkshire batsman, is in line for an ODI debut while Jamie Overton, the Somerset fast bowler, will become England's youngest debutant since Brian Close if he makes the final XI.
Players on both sides will know each other well: Rankin could end up opening the bowler against Ed Joyce, a role reversal of the 2007 World Cup when Rankin bowled Joyce with his first ball when the latter was playing for England. William Porterfield, Niall O'Brien, Gary Wilson, Paul Stirling, Tim Murtagh and George Dockrell are all established county players, while Kevin O'Brien has just returned from the Caribbean Premier League. Points to prove, for a lot of people.
Form guide(Most recent first)
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Trent Johnston has decided to call time on his career at the end of this year, a surprise to many who expected him to continue until at least the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. But the knees and various other ailing body parts can only take so much. He has been a wonderful servant of Irish cricket; opening bowler, captain, motivator, spokesman, politician. A victory here would be a fitting send-off.
Two years ago, in the corresponding fixture, Boyd Rankin opened the bowling and claimed the wicket of James Taylor. This time they are in the same squad. If Rankin makes the XI, his second ODI debut will come after a record of 37 matches and 43 wickets at 32.34 for Ireland. A potential new-ball spell against Joyce and his county team-mate William Porterfield could be one of the highlights of the match.
England could hand out four new ODI caps - Michael Carberry, Jamie Overton, Chris Jordan and Gary Ballance - while giving Rankin his first appearance in 50-over cricket for the Three Lions. Quite what combination of pace bowlers they go for remains to be seen, but Steven Finn, with his experience, should lead the line. Danny Briggs was preferred to James Tredwell in the Twenty20s, but Tredwell's recent ODI form has been impressive.
England (possible) 1 Michael Carberry, 2 James Taylor, 3 Ravi Bopara, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Gary Ballance, 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Jos Buttler (wk), 8 James Tredwell, 9 Jamie Overton, 10 Boyd Rankin, 11 Steven Finn
Apart from missing Alex Cusack through injury Ireland will be at full strength. Their side is packed with international and county experience; Tim Murtagh has helped compensate for the loss of Rankin - while George Dockrell is the latest player Ireland are desperate to protect from English interests.
Ireland (possible) 1 William Porterfield (capt), 2 Paul Stirling, 3 Ed Joyce, 4 Niall O'Brien (wk), 5 Gary Wilson, 6 Kevin O'Brien, 7 Andrew White, 8 Max Sorensen, 9 Trent Johnston, 10 Tim Murtagh, 11 George Dockrell
Pitch and conditions
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"I think we have brought a strong side, a young and very talented side. Given opportunities, hopefully they will show they are world-beaters."
Eoin Morgan was full of support for his young squad
"If you look through their side, there are some pretty exciting young players in there. If you look at the performances of all those lads, especially in country cricket, they have all got a future in the game."
William Porterfield was also happy to acknowledge the strength of England's options
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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