England are set to face-off Ireland on 30th July in Ages Bowl. It will be the first limited over match after a period of long break (4 months) due the deadly novel Coronavirus pandemic. Before lockdown, the last ODI match was played between Australia and New Zealand on 13th March 2020 in empty-stands.
This match will also be the inaugural match of the World Super League which increases the importance of winning this match for both teams.
Andrew White, Chair of Ireland’s National Men’s Selectors, said, “These ODIs are not only a great opportunity for our squad to test themselves against the world champions, but are extremely important in the context of qualification for the 2023 Cricket World Cup. Every player in our squad is lacking game time as a result of the lockdown, so the two warm-up games gave the players an opportunity to gain their first competitive action since early March and there were some very positive performances on display over those two matches.”
Also See: England vs Ireland 2020 Schedule
Ireland’s 14-man squad for the first ODI: Andrew Balbirnie (c), Paul Stirling (vc), Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O’Brien, William Porterfield, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.
Ireland have additional 8 players which are kept as reserves in case the team requires a covid-19 substitute. All eyes will be on the experienced Kevin O’Brien who has been an exceptional performer against England. He also scored a century in the warm-up match. Captain Adrew Balbirnie is also amongst runs (60) against England Lion is a positive sign for the team.
England will play with an ODI special squad as they will miss out 5 regular players (Archer, Stokes, Buttler, Root, Woakes) in the team who are currently part of the England test series against Pakistan on 5th August.
England’s opening partnership is going to be crucial and if they score 100+ for 1st wicket it sets a platform for the middle order batsmen. England lacks the firepower finishers in the absence of Stokes and Buttler and that is the only weakness of the team.
Squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Joe Denly, Saqib Mahmood, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Reece Topley, James Vince, David Willey.
Also See: ENG vs IRE Live Score
Weather and Pitch Conditions:
The weather will be sunny with less chances of rain (10%). The pitch at Ageas Bowl is good for batting. There will be bounce on this pitch and not much movement for the bowlers even in cloudy conditions.
This match will also be played behind closed doors hence it will be tough for fielders to go to the stands and search for the ball every time the batsmen hits a six.
The England team despite missing their key players looks a strong side on paper. However, Ireland have gone with the full-strength squad. We could expect a competitive series and may the better team win.