After the return of red-ball cricket, it is now time for some ODI action as England and Ireland get ready to face off in a three-match ODI series with all games scheduled at the Ageas Bowl, in Southampton. The series will also officially kick-start the newly-launched Cricket World Cup Super League.
HEAD TO HEAD
Overall - Matches 10 | England 8 | Ireland 1 | N/R 1
Last five ODIs - England 4 | Ireland 0 | N/R 1
ODIs in England – England 2 | Ireland 0
While you could go for the above team, or pick your own team, cricket.com's Fantasy Research Centre based on algorithms have come up with six different teams that could help you fetch crucial points.
There have been a total of 6 ODIs played at Southampton since the start of 2019 and while the runs per wicket here is a middling 35.3, bowlers have also not been too successful having picked up a wicket only every 40 balls. However, the two tour matches so far on this ground were high-scoring affairs and we could see a similar script going into the opening ODI on Thursday.
With the England side also involved in the Test series, the outlook of the ODI unit will be slightly different with a few key players missing. The surface at Southampton, like most in England, has favoured pacers. They have picked up a wicket every 36.5 balls at this venue as compared to spinners who have a strike rate of 47.1. Having said that leg-spinner Adil Rashid is the second-highest wicket-taker in ODIs between these two sides and should get a look-in.
Apart from that, you can also go in for top-order players such as Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Kevin O’Brien and Eoin Morgan in your side. Amongst all-rounders, the likes of Tom Curran and Moeen Ali could be safe picks.
Not a lot of ODIs have happened between England and Ireland but if there is one bowler the Irish batsmen will have to be really wary of is Rashid.
One of Ireland’s best batsman O’Brien has been dismissed twice in 3 innings by Rashid and averages just 6.5 against him in ODIs. Wicketkeeper-batsman Gary Wilson has suffered a similar fate against Rashid.
Having strutted across the Irish sea all those years back, Eoin Morgan will once again be back in front of the side it all began with. Morgan has always brought out his A-game against the nation of his birth. In just 5 innings against them, Morgan has scored 269 runs which include 2 half-centuries and a century at an average of 67.25. Now a World Cup-winning captain, Morgan will once again hope to score some runs and be on the right side of the result in the three-match series. According to the Criclytics Player Projector, Morgan will score 19-46 runs in this match.
The highest run-scorer for England since the start of 2018 in ODIs, Jonny Bairstow is a vital cog in their limited-overs setup. The wicketkeeper-batsman has amassed 1931 runs in 42 innings averaging a strong 45.98 which includes 6 half-centuries and 7 centuries since January 2018. In addition, he will also help you collect important points behind the stumps. Bairstow is coming off a fine 88-ball 127 in an intra-squad match and will want to shed the cobwebs and get into top gear nice and early. According to the Criclytics Player Projector, Bairstow will score 25-58 runs in this match.
Who can forget Kevin O’Brien’s whirlwind century against England at the 2011 World Cup! The allrounder has come a long way since and still remains a key player in the Ireland lineup. He is their second-highest run-scorer in the format against England with 239 runs in 9 innings at 26.56. In addition, O’Brien’s handy medium-pace bowling could also help in gaining a few points. At the twilight of his career, O’Brien will want to string in a few good performances in what is a very important series for Ireland. According to the Criclytics Player Projector, O'Brien will score 15-42 runs in this match.
Comfortably England’s leading wicket-taker over the last two seasons, Adil Rashid has been a key component in striking crucial blows in the middle stages of an ODI innings. Since the start of 2018, Rashid has picked up 69 wickets in ODIs striking every 32.6 balls. He has a good record against Ireland too having picked up 8 wickets in 4 innings against them which includes career-best figures of 5 for 27 back in 2017. Rashid is one player, who if he gets going can fetch you a lot of points. According to the Criclytics Player Projector, Rashid will pick 2-4 wickets in this match.