'Unforgivable' - Bracewell's judgment on Ireland's bowling tactics

Ireland's coach John Bracwell condemned Ireland's bowling approach as "unforgivable" as they failed to follow pre-match advice on how to approach Sri Lanka's batsmen

John Bracewell looks relaxed during a training session, Ireland v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Malahide, June 18, 2016

John Bracewell called Ireland's approach "unforgivable"  •  Getty Images/Sportsfile

Ireland coach John Bracewell criticised his side for an "unforgivable" failure to use pre-match research after they were thrashed by Sri Lanka in the second ODI at Malahide.
"They played smarter than us and we need to smarten up," he said, reflecting on Seekkuge Prasanna's 46-ball 95 at No. 3. "To go and explore a guy when we've got the notes is, in my opinion, a little bit unforgivable.
"We had good notes on him, and our notes showed that he could hit exactly where he did, and we were slow to react. And by the time we did react, seven overs were gone and 100 runs were added - and that cost us any chance of winning the match.
"We had to drag him away from his arc: he likes the ball in close and he hits through it. Our notes said slower balls and yorkers wide - as it turned out he dragged on a wide yorker. It took us a while to make that adjustment. You have to then assess whether that's arrogance, or ignorance or stubbornness."
Bracewell suggested that the answer was different for each bowler, but that Ireland's death bowling, restricting Sri Lanka to 75 for 6 from their position of 302 for 1, proved that the issue was not a lack of skill.
"The lesson is we need to react immediately," he said. "Perhaps we are playing in a more traditional style, as in we'll see how things go and then we'll react to the scouting notes if put under pressure or things don't go well."
A number of Ireland's players only arrived for this series late on Tuesday after playing for their counties, but Bracewell did not use this as an excuse. "It's not adequate but that's the world we live in," he said.
"You've got to do your homework, when you get that information you've got to start doing your own research, you've got to watch what's going on in the modern game, rather than just living in your own little world and thinking you can rock up. That is something we've got to learn. Guys have got to do their own preparation. We've got stats guys - they know their email address. They could have asked 'Can you send me some stuff on Mathews?' How many of them did? None of them.
"It's something they need to wake up to. It'll disappoint me if they haven't done it for Afghanistan and they've had that shot across their belt."
But Bracewell was encouraged by the debut series of Barry McCarthy - "an out-and-out-optimist" - and was particularly impressed by Andy McBrine's 79 from No 8. "He has street cunning, he learns on the job. From each game you know he's taking away packages." Bracewell said he already viewed McBrine as "a batting allrounder, it's just about where we choose to use him".
Though the Malahide pitch was far from a quintessential Irish green wicket, like that on which Ireland bowled the West Indies out for 25 in 1969, Bracewell did not want his side to make more use of home advantage in future.
"If we're going to be a one-off mode side and storm some teams, and celebrate it for the next 100 years as we have to when we doff our caps to Sion Mills - if that's going to be our attitude we're going to stay in the dark ages. We've got to learn to play on good wickets otherwise we will not be able to compete on the circuit."

Tim Wigmore is a freelance journalist and author of Second XI: Cricket in its Outposts