England will be wary of Ireland 'banana skin' - Andrew White

Kevin O'Brien and Paul Stirling will be part of the Ireland squad for the historic series against England
Kevin O'Brien and Paul Stirling will be part of the Ireland squad for the historic series against England
England v Ireland: One-day international series
Venues: Bristol and Lord's Dates: Friday, 5 May & Sunday, 7 May
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Ulster MW & Radio 5 live sports extra and the BBC Sport website

England will be wary of Ireland causing an upset in the first one-day internationals between the sides on English soil, says Andrew White.

The former Ireland all-rounder will be part of head coach John Bracewell's back-up team for the games at Bristol on Friday and at Lord's two days later.

"The fact that England have named a strong squad reflects that they know where Ireland are at," said White.

"These are huge occasions but they are a potential banana skin for England."

White added: "England have some great ball strikers and talented quick bowlers and it doesn't matter what XI they put out on the day, it's going to be a big task.

"Getting rid of the likes of Joe Root and Eoin Morgan early on is a priority so that they don't go on to make big scores."

Former Ireland all-rounder Andrew White
Andrew White announced his retirement from cricket in February 2015 at the age of 34

Confidence hit by Afghanistan defeats

White, who is occupying the role of an assistant coach in an interim capacity, expects Ireland to be up for the fight despite the disappointment of their recent defeats by Afghanistan in an ODI series and an Intercontinental Cup encounter in India.

"No Irish team goes into fixtures against England without having that fire in their belly. I expect the Ireland players to be raring to go.

"Confidence has taken a knock but enough time has elapsed since the boys were out in India, where conditions are difficult for any touring side.

"We were disappointed, more so in the manner of the four-day defeat, but the guys will be more familiar with the conditions they face this week and will be ready to go."

Ed Joyce will be a key figure for Ireland against England

'Immense pride' in Ireland's progress

Ireland appear to be on the verge of securing Test status and the ex-North Down and Northamptonshire player says he takes "immense pride in where the Irish team is now" compared with when the 36-year-old made the first of his 232 appearances for Ireland in 2000.

"So many who have been part of that journey will look at Ireland walking down the pavilion steps at Lord's with a great sense of pride. I just hope the performance is worthy of the occasion.

"I played for Ireland against Sri Lanka at Lord's in a Twenty20 World Cup game (in 2009) and we were nine runs away from beating them. It was a fantastic occasion with a big crowd and the sun shining. Hopefully it will be something similar this week.

"Like playing at any iconic sporting venue across the world, it's about trying to adapt to the surroundings and trying not to let the occasion spoil what you are trying to do or take your mind off the game."

Andrew McBrine
Andrew McBrine has learnt his trade with North West club Donemana

'Donemana a million miles away from Lord's'

White believes Ireland's cause will be boosted on Sunday by the fact that a number of the Irish squad have various degrees of experience of having performed at 'the home of cricket'.

"The history of the place (Lord's) is well known but a number of Ireland players have played there before.

"Paul Stirling plays most of his home games there and Ed Joyce has spent a large part of his career there, while Andrew Balbirnie was also a Middlesex player, so those guys are familiar with it and it will be business as usual. They won't make too much of the venue.

"It may be different for the likes of Andrew McBrine, who learnt all his cricket at Donemana. Lord's is a million miles away from Donemana in terms of size of venue and everything else.

"But he'll have the day before to take in the surroundings and come game day he'll be ready to play. At the end of the day, it's Ireland against England - that's the biggest thing about it."

Ireland have previously played five home ODIs against England and two in global tournaments, famously securing a three-wicket win in the 2011 World Cup.

Kevin O'Brien and Paul Stirling have overcome hamstring and finger injuries respectively, but fast bowler Boyd Rankin is ruled out with a back problem.

Andrew White was speaking on BBC Radio Ulster's Sportsound programme.


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