England will send out an inexperienced one-day side to take on Ireland next month with five uncapped players named on Tuesday in a squad led by new captain James Taylor.
The bold move is down to the fact that the Test team arrive back from duty in the West Indies just one day before the May 8 fixture.
Taylor will lead the team in Dublin in just his 18th one-day international, while Zafar Ansari, Sam Billings, James Vince, Lewis Gregory and David Willey are all in with a chance of making their senior debuts. – AFP
SMITH TAUNTS POMS
Australia have a huge hunger for an Ashes triumph in England, according to all-rounder Shane Watson, while batsman Steve Smith believes this year’s series will not even be close if the tourists play to their potential.
After the 5-0 sweep in the 2013-14 series down under, Australia head to England in July and August in possession of the coveted urn with a chance to claim a first Ashes series win away from home since 2001.
Smith, captain-elect for when Michael Clarke decides to call time on his test career, experienced Ashes defeat in England in 2013 but thinks the side, which has enjoyed test series wins over England, South Africa and India since that reverse, will be too strong.
‘I can’t wait to get over there and play another Ashes against England in their conditions after beating them so convincingly in Australia,’ Smith told ESPNCricinfo.
‘It’s going to be nice to go in their backyard. If we continue to play the way we have been playing over the last 12-18 months, I don’t think that they’ll come close to us to be honest.’
HAQUE CONTINUES HOT STREAK
Mominul Haque scored 80 as Bangladesh made an impressive start in the first Test against Pakistan on Tuesday, reaching 236-4 by stumps on the opening day.
The talented 23-year-old left-hander batted fluently to cross 50 for the 12th time in his first 13 Tests, before being trapped leg-before by Zulfiqar Babar off the last ball of the day.
Opener Imrul Kayes made 51, Mohammad Mahmudullah scored 49 and Shakib Al Hasan was unbeaten on 19 after the hosts elected to bat in good batting conditions at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium.
Mominul has scored a half-century or more in his last 10 Tests. Only four batsmen — Viv Richards of the West Indies, South Africa’s AB de Villiers and the Indian duo of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag — have scored more 50s in consecutive Test matches. – AFP