A series between Ireland and England will definitely not catch much of eyes but it will not hold true this time. England will be serious while taking against Ireland as this will be helpful for them to start preparations for oncoming champions trophy. Ireland on the other hand are not participating in the champions trophy but this series will help them to grow their motivation.
England have picked up strong squad against Ireland though Ben Stokes, Chris woakes and Jos Butler have been allowed to play for their IPL franchise. Ireland on the other will be strengthened by return of Kevin O’Brien and Paul Stirling but they would definitely going to miss the pace of Boyd Rankin to their squad.
England are definitely stronger side but they can never forget few of the losses which have come against Ireland in past including the one in 2011 world cup when Ireland chased down the target of 329 runs. England have strength in depth in their line-up and are in pretty good form having won the series 3-0 against West Indies. Ireland on the other are not performing up to their standards and only won 6 games in 16 matches in five years.
When: England vs Ireland, first match, 5th May, 11:00 GMT
Where: the county ground, Bristol
What to expect: the weather will be overcast and chilly though expected to be dry. Pitch will be preferable for batting with little help for the bowlers as the game proceeds in the second innings.
England: England team would prefer playing the players who are in the squad for champions trophy that means Ben Duckett and Steven Finn will miss out in first match. With absence of woakes and stokes as an all-rounder England will choose to play with rather unpleasant line-up of five bowlers with Liam Plunkett and Mark Wood pairing to share the pace attack. Bairstow and Billings will be likely to make the five and six of batting line up.
Probable XI: Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Sam Billings, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid/Jake Ball, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood, David Willey.
Full squad: Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Sam Billings, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Jake Ball, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood, David Willey, Steven Finn, Ben Duckett.
Ireland: Kevin O’Brien and Paul Stirling return to the side after facing injury issues during Afghanistan series and will form formidable middle order along with Gary Wilson. The pace attack will be without the service of Boyd Rankin and pace attack will form of that of Thompson, Young, Murtagh. Macbrine will handle the spin department and dockrell can be included as well if two spinners are required.
Probable XI: William Porterfield, Andrew Balbirnie, George Dockrell/Craig Young, Ed Joyce, Tim Murtagh, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson
Squad: William Porterfield, Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Tim Murtagh, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson, Craig Young
Players in the Spotlight:
Alex Hales: recently he displayed a fine innings of batting in a county match and can be fruitful for England at the start of the innings. He will definitely be looking forward to score some runs under his belt before champions trophy.
Gary Wilson: Perhaps the best batsman in form for Ireland and he has exposure for county experience as well. He is played with lots of current squad of England and can be handy in providing fight form Ireland’s side.
Match Prediction: Clearly England is the tougher side among both and is likely to win the match unless some magic shown by the Ireland side.