After exactly six months, Ireland will step back on the field to play ODI cricket. They last played an ODI series against Zimbabwe in September last year which they won by a 3-0 margin. But ever since then, the side has been busy playing the shortest format of the game. They’ve faced the likes of Netherlands, Scotland, Oman, Hong Kong and finished third in the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 Qualifiers. Thus, they’d like to carry the confidence forward as they begin the tour against West Indies.
The Caribbean team will host Ireland for three ODIs followed by three T20Is this month. The action will kick off with the first ODI at the Kensington Oval. While West Indies go into this series as the firm favourites, Ireland would want to punch above their weight and come up with some good performances. With a couple of changes to their squad, West Indies will hope to give chances to the players who have been warming the bench for a while now.
Pitch and Conditions
The track at the Kensington Oval is good for batting. The ball comes on nicely and the batsmen can hit through the line once they settle in. Bowlers who tend to vary their pace find more success here. The weather will be pleasant during this game with the humidity on the higher side.
Brandon King is likely to feature in the West Indies eleven for this game. He will bat at three followed by the big-hitting Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran and Kieron Pollard. Keemo Paul will continue in the side along with Roston Chase. It’d be interesting to see if Pollard decides to go back to Hayden Walsh in this series. Alzarri Joseph and Sheldon Cottrell will be the two pacers.
Predicted XI: Shai Hope (wk), Evin Lewis, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard (c), Roston Chase, Keemo Paul, Hayden Walsh/Khary Pierre, Alzarri Joseph, Sheldon Cottrell.
Gareth Delany has looked impressive in the T20Is thus far and will most probably make his debut. Andy Balbirnie will lead the side instead of William Porterfield. Since he is relieved of the additional burden, Ireland will hope that Porterfield can contribute big with the bat. They might not pick Gary Wilson and there is a chance that they will go for an additional bowling option in the form of Andy McBrine.
Predicted XI: Paul Stirling, Gareth Delany, Andrew Balbirnie (c), William Porterfield, Kevin O’Brien, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Simi Singh, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Andy McBrine, Boyd Rankin.
Probable Top Performers
Shimron Hetmyer – West Indies | Gareth Delany – Ireland
TV – Sony Six, Sony Six HD
Live Streaming – Sony LIV
Match timings – 01:00 PM local time (10:30 PM IST) (05:00 PM UTC)
West Indies is expected to win the game and take a 1-0 lead.
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