John Bracewell is ready for challenge from new-look England

New Ireland head coach John Bracewell
New Ireland head coach John Bracewell
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John Bracewell claims his Ireland team are about to come up against a clutch of players who should have been at the World Cup, and might well have lifted England’s sorry campaign if they had been.

England will take on Bracewell’s hosts in Friday’s Royal London one-day international at Malahide with as many as seven debutants, and will be led by first-time captain James Taylor.

A unique set of circumstances dictates that the visitors are far from full strength, with many of their first-choice players barely out of transit after the Test tour to the West Indies.

Bracewell’s opposite number Peter Moores is under renewed pressure after the disappointing 1-1 draw in the Caribbean, and the New Zealander admits he does not envy the England head coach a jot.

Bracewell senses, though, that a new breed of attacking batsmen in the frame to play in Dublin may be capable of much better than those who took their place to little effect in Australia and New Zealand.

He said: “A lot of these guys thought they probably should have been at the World Cup – and to be honest, when you look at the strategy that was needed there, a lot of them perhaps should have been.

“They’ve got some big points to prove, and justify their case. So I don’t think they’ll be a soft target, that’s for sure.

“They missed the obvious chance, which was the World Cup, and a lot of them will be hurting about that.”