England vs Ireland 3rd ODI Preview: Opportunities for Livingstone and Dawson likely as England aim for clean sweep
Ireland played much better in the second ODI as compared to the series opener but were still way short of troubling England. They did have a semblance of hope when they had England down at 137/6 but a target of 213 was never going to be enough for their bowlers.
Venue - The Ageas Bowl, Southampton
Start time - 1:00 PM GMT/2:00 PM LOCAL
Head to Head record in ODIs - England: 10 Ireland: 1 No Result: 1
Weather - Partly cloudy, 15-21°C, Precipitation: 10%, Humidity: 57%, Wind: 24 km/h
The biggest problem for Ireland is the inability of their top order to cope with the swing of David Willey to begin with. When you lose your top 4-5 batsmen by the 20-over mark, it is obvious that you will always be catching your tail from thereon.
The thing that Ireland are lacking the most is that they never find themselves in a situation to take the attack to the opposition. It was evident with Paul Stirling's back to back boundaries in the second game that if he can last long, assisted by Gareth Delany and Andrew Balbirnie, Ireland can post a total of around 300, which will then give their bowlers an opportunity to test the England batting line-up.
Curtis Campher comes of age
But, the fact that they have lost their top batters in both the matches way too early that Ireland have never seemed like winning. A shining light for them though is Curtis Campher, who has scored half-centuries in both the first two games.
Skipper Balbirnie was all praise for the all-rounder after the last match. The South African import has also done a fine job with the bowl apart from ending as the team's top scorer in both the last two games. What Ireland can consider is promoting him up the order from his current batting position of number 7.
Liam Dawson and Liam Livingstone likely to get a game
In terms of changes, Ireland can consider bringing in slow left-arm orthodox bowler and a handy bat George Dockrell in place of either Andy Mcbrine or Simi Singh.
With England having already won the series, they would like to give Liam Dawson and Liam Livingstone a chance in the final match of the series. While Dawson can come in the side in place of either Adil Rashid or Moeen Ali, preferably Ali, Liam Livingstone can take the place of Tom Banton.
Should Ireland bowl first?
It would not be a bad outcome for Ireland to be either invited to bowl first or choose to bat second if they win the toss. There is little doubt that by doing so, they also run the risk of being at the receiving end of one of England's 400 rampages, with their bowlers going under the pump. But, Ireland have no option but to try this out. Otherwise, just like the first two ODIs, it sort of has fallen into a template where Ireland will again struggle against the swing of David Willey first up and will find themselves in a hole by the time half of their innings ends.
If Paul Stirling and Gareth Delany can see off the first few overs and then step their foot on the gas and it comes off, only then Ireland are in with a chance to have a shot at winning this match.
Ireland have to put inexperienced England middle order under pressure
England, despite winning the last match with 17 overs to spare, won't be too happy with their batting. Jason Roy has now failed to fire in both the first two ODIs and despite the 41-ball 82-run blitz from Jonny Bairstow, their middle order comprising James Vince and Tom Banton has fallen short of expectations in the first two matches.
Had Ireland been able to dismiss either one of Billings or Willey in the last match, the duo that took the home side to victory, with only Adil Rashid, Reece Topley and Saqib Mahmood to bat next, Ireland could have forced the issue a little bit.
Although it seems unlikely for Ireland to pull off a heroic victory in the last match of the series, they will certainly do well to at least give England a tough fight and salvage their pride.
Here's a look at the probable playing XI of both teams:
England - Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow (wk), James Vince, Liam Livingstone, Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Liam Dawson, David Willey, Adil Rashid, Reece Topley, Saqib Mahmood
Ireland - Paul Stirling, Gareth Delany, Andrew Balbirnie (c), Harry Tector, Kevin O Brien, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Andy McBrine, Joshua Little, Craig Young
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