Sunday, July 21, 2024

Cricket Ireland: Gareth Delany – “I believe that ODIs suit my game”

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Photo Credit: Sportsfile

With the highly-anticipated ODI series between Ireland Men and Bangladesh Men starting Tuesday, it may be easy to overlook that there will be a warm-up game ahead of that series between Ireland Wolves and Bangladesh – and Ireland all-rounder Gareth Delany, who has been included in both the Wolves and senior squads, is looking forward to getting back into the 50-over format.

Delany, 26, has played in 15 ODIs amongst his 76 caps for Ireland – and while many would consider him in a T20 mould, the Dubliner feels that the ODI format suits his game better. He said:

“I haven’t played as much ODI cricket as I would have liked to, but that comes down to not having performed to a level to nail down a spot when given an opportunity, and also the performances of the ODI team over the last number of years – it’s been quite difficult to break into the side on a more regular basis.

“I do, however, believe it suits my game, and the message I’m getting about how I can become a more frequent inclusion in the team is to have that ability with the bat to be able to take the game to the opposition at times, while also trying to bat for long periods and offer that second spin option through the middle. Those are some of the things I’ve been trying to work on lately.”

The Wolves match is one Delany is targeting as an opportunity to showcase his skills:

“I’m hoping the Wolves game will give me an opportunity to put in a good performance, and to try and make a case to be in the starting XI for the first ODI against Bangladesh in Chelmsford.

“It’s hard to know where I am at in this format, as I haven’t been able to play that much 50-over cricket over the last year. Not only has our focus as a senior squad been primarily on T20 cricket, and more recently Test cricket, to compound that the weather interrupted the IP50 competition quite heavily last year, so I probably haven’t had as much exposure as I would have liked.”

Delany, however, has been pleased to be working with National Spin Bowling Coach, Nathan Hauritz:

“Nathan has been a fantastic addition to our group, and I think as a spinners group we’ve all felt an improvement since his arrival. I’ve found he’s been very good for me on the tactical side of things, planning pre-game, and in reviewing the game afterwards to find what worked and what can be improved upon. More recently he’s been very helpful in improving the mental side of my game.”

Conditions will be greatly different to those in the subcontinent, how will Delany and is teammates adapt?

“It’s always hard to know what conditions will be like before a series. I think in Sylhet we weren’t anticipating the wickets to be as good for batting, or quick bowling as they were, and I feel we got caught out in terms of that. We would expect conditions to be more similar to what we’re used to, but then again most of us wouldn’t have any experience of playing in Chelmsford, so we’ll have to assess and adapt quickly.

“It’ll be a tough challenge to beat Bangladesh in all three games, as they’re a very good side who cover all aspects. Obviously every time we go out to play our intention is to win, and there’s that added level of motivation with automatic qualification for the World Cup in India later in the year if we manage to win these games.

“If we don’t it will be a very difficult qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe with ten very good teams. Qualifying tournaments are notoriously difficult and nervy affairs, and with only two spots available, it’ll be a very tough task if we do find ourselves there.”

SQUADS

Ireland Wolves:

  • PJ Moor (capt) (Clontarf), Cade Carmichael (Instonians), Murray Commins (Instonians), Gareth Delany (Leinster), Matthew Foster (CSNI), Fionn Hand (Clontarf), Gavin Hoey (Pembroke), Tyrone Kane (Phoenix), Tom Mayes (North Down), Scott Macbeth (Bready), James McCollum (Waringstown), Neil Rock (Rush), Craig Young (Bready).

Ireland Men:

  • Andrew Balbirnie (capt) (Pembroke), Mark Adair (CIYMS), Curtis Campher (YMCA), Gareth Delany (Leinster), George Dockrell (Phoenix), Stephen Doheny (Merrion), Fionn Hand (Clontarf), Graham Hume (Waringstown), Josh Little (Pembroke), Andy McBrine (Donemana), Paul Stirling (North Down), Harry Tector (YMCA), Lorcan Tucker (Pembroke), Craig Young (Bready).

NB: Conor Olphert, Matthew Humphreys and Ross Adair were not available due to examination / work commitments.

FIXTURE SCHEDULE

Warm-up:

  • 5 May: Ireland Wolves v Bangladesh Men – 50-over match

World Cup Super League series:

  • 9 May: Ireland Men v Bangladesh Men – 1st ODI (Chelmsford; sold out; starts 10.45am)
  • 12 May: Ireland Men v Bangladesh Men – 2nd ODI (Chelmsford; tickets now on sale; starts 10.45am)
  • 14 May: Ireland Men v Bangladesh Men – 3rd ODI (Chelmsford; sold out; starts 10.45am)

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