Cricket: England vs Ireland
1st One Day International
Rose Bowl, Southampton: – 30th July 2020
One-day cricket is back as England take on Ireland in the first game of a three-match series at the Rose Bowl. With both sides taking tentative steps back to action following the enforced COVID 19 break, it promises to be a fascinating encounter. The hosts beat all before them to clinch the 2019 Cricket World Cup last summer and have plenty of firepower in their ranks. Despite leaving out the likes of Joe Root, Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes for this series, they still have a wealth of big names at their disposal. Ireland are a strong side, particularly in one-day cricket but they last played a competitive fixture back in March, where they went down to Afghanistan 2-1 in India. Notoriously tricky English conditions don’t usually come into play as much in one-day cricket and with Ireland accustomed to similar weather generally, the elements at the Rose Bowl shouldn’t play too much of a role in the outcome of the game.
Eoin Morgan will once again lead England against the team of his birth as his world cup winning charges look to bled in some young and emerging talents. Somerset batsmen Tom Banton looks set to be given a run in the side and with the likes of Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy will be eager to prove their worth to the ODI team once more.
In the bowling department, three spinners are in the 14-man squad with Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and Liam Dawson sure to enjoy favourable conditions at the Rose Bowl whilst Reece Topley and Saqid Mahmood look set to be given chances to impress with the new ball.
The ‘Boys in Green’ look to be going through a period of transition under the captaincy of Andrew Balbirnie and his young side look to have their work cut out here. William Porterfield and Paul Sterling are sure to provide some stability and experience at the top of the order whilst young all-rounder Gareth Delany is an exciting prospect.
Kevin O’Brien will once again be called upon for his experience with both bat and ball lower down the order, whilst former England test bowler Boyd Rankin will be relishing the chance to ruffle a few feathers in his former side.
England vs Ireland Best Bets
Few batsmen are as destructive in One Day Cricket as Jonny Bairstow and he could return with a point to prove after being overlooked for the test side completely this summer. He could also be keeping wicket in the absence of Jos Buttler and will relish the conditions at the Rose Bowl.
Middlesex batsman Paul Stirling has been plying his trade in English County Cricket for the best part of a decade and he is a quality performer. His attacking approach can put off even the best bowlers and in his new role as vice-captain, he could step up to the plate here.
England have been heavily reliant on Adil Rashid in One Day Cricket for the past few years and the Yorkshireman is prolific in-home conditions. The Rose Bowl is notoriously spin friendly and the Irish batsmen could have a hard time picking him in this day-night fixture.
The wait is finally over and one day cricket should be back with a bang at the Rose Bowl. Ireland will put up a decent fight against World Champions England and although the hosts are resting a few big names, they should still get the job done at home here.