Here at Silly Point we previously informed followers how England are due to host Ireland for two ODIs later this year.
Now admittedly there are some ODIs against both India and West Indies beforehand as well as the North v South series that provides those selected with a great opportunity to put forward their case for selection but with the suggestion being that England are willing to allow some players to play in the IPL rather than the Irish ODIs we thought that we’d identify some of the candidates that could make up the numbers for England.
Eoin Morgan is expected to be told that he must captan the side having already skipped the Bangladesh tour and having gained plenty of IPL experience previously. Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Alex Hales, Jason Roy and Ben Stokes are all expected to be snapped up by franchises, if not already, come the IPL.
With Hales and Roy putting themselves up for auction, a recall for Ben Duckett is surely in the pipeline. Despite his struggles in Tests, Duckett was unlucky to be dropped from England’s ODI squad after two half-centuries in three outings in Bangladesh. The Ireland matches are a fantastic opportunity to reintegrate Duckett. England haven’t completely given up on James Vince who has played in the Big Bash this winter either, whilst the likes of Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone, both part-time spin bowlers, could also be considered.
On the pace bowling front, both Curran brothers, right-arm Tom and left-arm Sam will surely come into consideration whilst the absence of senior players may also provide Steven Finn with an opportunity to reignite his international career after a difficult winter. Like Duckett he was dropped for the limited overs matches in India. Another bowling option could be Toby Roland-Jones who made the Test squad in the summer.
If any of Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid or Liam Dawson head to the IPL then Zafar Ansari, like Finn, could be provided with an opportunity to put a tough winter behind him. In this format of the game Ollie Rayner may be preferred to Jack Leach though Mason Crane could also come into consideration.
England’s squad could look something like this:
Eoin Morgan (C), Moeen Ali, Jake Ball, Jonny Bairstow (W), Liam Dawson, Ben Duckett, Steven Finn, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Toby Roland-Jones, Joe Root, James Vince, David Willey, Chris Woakes