Ireland get a second crack at an established nation in the space of three days on Sunday when they open up a tri-nation series with themselves, the West Indies and Bangladesh in what should be ideal preparation for the World Cup for the latter two.
West Indies are the first team to take on Ireland in the series and they will be looking to avoid a slip up which so nearly came the way of England in Dublin on Friday afternoon. England got a real scare. Whether West Indies were watching and will counter that remains to be seen.
You have to give a lot of credit to the Irish for the way they played against England on Friday. They were never truly at the races once wickets started falling in their batting innings but they kept on plugging away and put some sort of score on the board. They then got stuck in with the ball and almost pulled off a huge shock, with England’s batting depth once again getting them out of trouble.
There isn’t too much that Ireland have to work on for this series. A little more consistency with the bat would be useful and perhaps a slightly better shot selection but apart from that they are pretty much where they would want to be. They look to have a perfect attack for the conditions that they enjoy at home and it would be no surprise if they take a scalp or two in this series.
Whenever the Windies are in town the immediate thought is to look at their batting line up, firstly to see what sort of power it contains, but also in this day and age to see how much depth it has. It could be more powerful for this series and it could have more depth but with World Cup squad places possibly still on the line with one or two injuries coming their way, everybody should be looking to perform.
The quality of this West Indian seam attack probably needs no going over. They have always had wonderful seamers, so the issue for them here is whether they can encounter the slow and seaming conditions when they have the bat in their hand. Big players are away at the IPL still but they still look to have a pretty strong side going onto the park here.
There doesn’t appear to be any reason to change the side from the one which lost to England on Friday if you are from an Ireland standpoint. They might look to alter their batting line up but that would be about it.
West Indies will be missing Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer and Andre Russell who are all away at the IPL so the likes of Jonathan Carter, John Campbell and Sunil Ambris all get the chance to impress.
I was surprised Ireland got a handicap as big as they did against England on Friday and although it is slightly lower for this match, I still don’t think it represents a fair line in comparison to the ability they have. West Indies aren’t as strong as England in this format of the game and they are arguably even more a second string outfit than the one England were.
I see no reason why Ireland won’t score well with the bat here. Associate or lesser ranked sides tend to struggle against mystery bowling but you don’t get any of that with West Indies. It is a barrage of pace which they have come through before. I see Ireland picking up wickets in these conditions too so while I would expect West Indies to win, with a caveat that I wouldn’t be wholly surprised if they don’t, I expect Ireland to stick within 5.5 wickets or 42.5 runs.
Back Ireland (+5.5wickets/42.5runs) to beat West Indies for a 4/10 stake at 1.73 with Bet365