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Joyce sets sights on quarter-finals
23 Jan 2015 10:10
Batsman Ed Joyce is upbeat on Ireland’s chances of putting in a good showing at the upcoming Cricket World Cup and making it through the initial group stage and into the knockout rounds.
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Ireland had a confidence boosting tri-series win in Dubai earlier this week and Joyce said the mood in the camp is very positive ahead of next month’s World Cup, when Ireland start their six-game campaign against the West Indies in New Zealand on 16 February.
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Speaking to RTÉ Sport, Joyce said: “The feeling is good, I’m quite optimistic about our chances.
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“We performed pretty well out in the UAE, but the batting probably wasn’t up to the standard we needed to be making the World Cup quarter finals and beyond, but the bowling was actually quite good
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“People were expecting it to be the other way round so I think we’d prefer it way that we know our batting can improve, so we’re optimistic.”
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Ireland’s bowling options, however, have been curtailed ahead for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand as Phil Simmons’ charges will be minus veteran Trent Johnston (retired) and Middlesex bowler Tim Murtagh (foot injury), with Max Sorensen coming in for Murtagh who was only ruled out of the World Cup last weekend.
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“Trent is certainly a big loss from the last few years. He’s been a titan of Irish cricket for a long time and performed well at every level of the game, not just against teams of our level but also top teams in the world so he’s obviously a big loss,” said Joyce.
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“Tim’s a top quality bowler on wickets he can get a bit out off. He’s a brilliant performer when the wicket’s flat and the bowling is pacey.
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“I think he’ll be a loss on and off the field with his experience and expertise.
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“Max has come in and he’s a different type of cricketer. He bowls a bit quicker and his fielding and batting is probably a lot better than Murts – he’ll probably won’t like me saying that but I think he’s is a different type of cricketer.
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“But I don’t think we’ll lose much squad-wise, maybe we’ll lose out a bit on the control Tim could bring to the wicket.”
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