West Indies will take on Ireland in the first ODI of the three-match series. The encounter took place at the Sabina Park in Jamaica on Saturday (January 8). With prominent players returning to the side, West Indies are looking a formidable side and are touted favourites for this series. Kieron Pollard will lead the home team, whereas Shai Hope will serve as his deputy.On the other hand, Ireland will see this as an opportunity to upset a strong West Indies team. Notably, the Irish side didn’t enjoy the greatest of series when they travelled to the West Indies in 2020. They failed to put up a fight and suffered a humiliating 3-0 defeat in the ODI leg. Nevertheless, the visitors have some prominent players in the ranks who can trouble the home team.West Indies are set to be hosting Ireland in the three-match ODI series which starts from January 8. With the return of their key players, the Windies are looking formidable and they are the favourites to win this series. Kieron Pollard will lead the side, whereas Shai Hope is named as his deputy. The Caribbean boys were whitewashed by Pakistan 3-0 in the T20I series last month.As for Ireland, they, on the other hand, were supposed to play two ODIs against the USA last month, however, the series got postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They did not have the greatest of series when they toured West Indies a couple of years back as they were thrashed 3-0. West Indies will host Ireland in the 3-match ODI series which starts from 8th January. With the return of their key players, West Indies are looking formidable and they are the favorites to win this series. Kieron Pollard will lead the side, whereas Shai Hope is named as his deputy. The Caribbean boys were whitewashed by Pakistan 3-0 in the T20I series last month.Ireland, on the other hand, were supposed to play 2 ODIs against USA last month, but the series got postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They didn’t have the greatest of series when they toured West Indies a couple of years back as they were thoroughly thrashed by the home side by 3-0. It will be interesting how they are going to perform against the mainstream West Indies side. MATCH DETAILS:West Indies vs Ireland, 1st ODI
Venue: Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica
Date & Time: January 8th at 8:00 PM IST and at 9:30 AM local timePITCH REPORT:As Sabina Park hasn’t hosted a match since a while, the track would be pretty fresh. The pitch tends to favour the fast bowlers in the initial part of the game. Hence, the batters need to tackle the new ball with precision. However, the conditions will ease out for the batters as the game progresses. Hence, the toss-winning captain must elect to bowl first.
Average score: 233 (38 ODIs at Sabina Park)
Record of chasing teams: Won – 22, Lost – 14WEST INDIES VS IRELAND HEAD TO HEAD:Matches – 12
West Indies – 10
Ireland – 1
N/R- 1WEST INDIES VS IRELAND WEATHER FORECASTTemperatures in Kingston, Jamaica, are expected to range between 22 and 31 degrees Celsius. It will stay humid throughout the day.WEST INDIES VS IRELAND PROBABLE XISWEST INDIESKieron Pollard will be leading a relatively young Windies side. Chris Gayle has been the notable exclusion from the squad and it remains to be seen how they cope with the Irish challenge at home.PROBABLE XI:
Nicholas Pooran (wk)
IRELANDAfter leveling the T20I series against USA, Ireland have arrived in the West Indies for a limited-overs series. Andrew Balbirnie will be hoping to kickstart the series on a winning note.PROBABLE XI:
Andrew Balbirnie (c)
Neil Rock (wk)
WEST INDIES VS IRELAND MATCH PREDICTIONWith the two sides being evenly matched, a good battle between the bat and the ball is expected.Ireland look a well-settled unit and should come out on top on Saturday.PREDICTION: IRELAND TO WIN THIS ENCOUNTER.
PROBABLE TOP PERFORMERSSHAI HOPE – WEST INDIESShai Hope belongs to the rare category of West Indies batters, who isn’t known for his brute strength. He instead emphasizes on staying at the crease for long. Owing to the same, he averages over 50 in this format of the game. His strike rate, which is 74.78, is something which can be improved. However, Hope has given West Indies solid starts more often than not in ODIs.ALZARRI JOSEPH – WEST INDIESAlzarri Joseph is most likely to top the bowling charts as he has been a wicket-taking machine in ODIs. The right-arm pacer can set the speed-gun on fire and the bucket of variations in his arsenal makes him even more effective. Hence, Ireland batters must beware of him.TOP PICKS – BATTERSDevon Thomas last played his ODI back in 2013 against Australia. The 32-year-old batter is back again in the West Indies squad. In his 21 ODIs, he has scored 238 runs with the highest score of 37.Paul Stirling was the leading run-scorer in the ODIs last year. In 14 matches, he has scored 705 runs at an average of 54.23, with the highest score of 131*.TOP PICKS – ALL-ROUNDERSRoston Chase performs well under pressure. He has the ability to lift his side from tough situations. He has scored 520 runs in 30 ODIs at an average of 26 and has also picked up 15 wickets.Simi Singh is an effective all-rounder with the white ball for Ireland. In his 33 ODIs, he has scalped 37 wickets and scored 547 runs with the bat.TOP PICKS – BOWLERSAlzarri Joseph is a skiddy customer. With his precise line and lengths, he can cause damage for the opposition batters. The 25-year-old right-arm quick has scalped 60 wickets in his ODI career with the best figures of 5 for 56 and has also scored 190 runs with the bat.Barry McCarthy bowls at a good pace and has the potential to pick wickets as well. He has bagged 61 wickets in his 38 ODIs with the best figures of 61.TOP PICKS – WICKET KEEPERSNicholas Pooran knows only one way that is to score runs. He is a floater and will play according to the demanding situation. He has scored 1044 runs in 28 ODI innings with the highest score of 118.
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