The Gary Wilson cricket column...

Gary Wilson
Gary Wilson

Well, our tour of the Caribbean has not exactly got off to the start that we were looking for.

Two losses from two games and bar results heavily going in our favour already out of the Nagico Super 50 series. Amongst the the two poor performances there have been some positives to take.

Andy Mcbrine’s bowling is probably the biggest plus point we can take from the two games, it seems that we have found another genuine spinner.

With the way the wickets are playing over here spin is playing a key roll in every bowling unit so when Paul Stirling recovers from his niggle- hopefully on Friday- we will have three spinners to tackle the Windward Islands.

We said when we arrived here that two days preparation was not ideal and it has transpired that way. That’s not making excuses however, the bottom line is we simply haven’t been good enough over the two games.

We have got three days now in the lead up to our next game, a rest day and two training days and we will be working very hard to put it right on Friday.

The standard of the opposition has been good, we expected that coming over here. These nations all live and breathe cricket and each of the islands play with a serious amount of passion.

One thing that is for sure, we are getting an excellent work out for what is to come later on this winter and that can only stand us in good stead.

The pitches are turning quite a lot and that’s potentially what we are going to face in Bangladesh next month at the World T20, so perfect preparation with regard to that.

Playing spin is one thing that we have been steadily progressing at over the years, last season we played Pakistan with Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman and both times we were able to post very competitive scores.

What I’m saying is that we are very capable of putting together proper innings but perhaps the rustiness of 6 weeks only training indoors against either the bowling machine or Merlyn (the spin bowling machine) is playing a part.

Andrew Poynter impressed a lot in the first game against Guyana and if he continues to play like that he is going to be a real asset to us.

Apart from Andrew’s 50 in that game none of our other batters have played like we can. Kevin played well for his 40 odd in the same game and Niall and William both did well to get through a tricky new ball period yesterday against Jamaica but unfortunately neither were able to go on.

From my own point of view I felt like I got in yesterday and was ready to go on but made a poor choice in my shot selection and that was very disappointing.

I think if you get to 10 in a game you are ‘in’ as batsmen would say and you should then go on to make a decent score. Unfortunately for me, yesterday I didn’t do that but after some hard work in the nets in the first few days I feel like I’m striking the ball nicely now so hopefully friday will be my day.

One thing that Ireland teams have always taken pride in over the years is our ability in the field.

It stemmed from when Adi was our coach back in the early days of his reign. He used to say, ‘we might not bat or bowl as well as the big boys but we can certainly field like them’.

This is perhaps the most disappointing part of the last two games.

Last night against Jamaica we dropped four catches, three of which simply cannot be missed.

That’s not how we play our cricket though and I’m convinced that we will put it right for the next match.

All of the above comes a poor second to the news that John Mooney has left the tour with a stress related illness.

John is not only a very important cricketer for us but a friend to me, and I sincerely hope that he makes a full recovery as soon as he can, as I’m sure does everyone else.