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Ireland tour of West Indies: Preview, Match Schedule, Team Squads and Series Predictions

All-rounder Keemo Paul during warm-up exercises
All-rounder Keemo Paul during warm-up exercises
©CWI Media/Philip Spooner
 
Balbirnie on the way to a century against WI in May 2019
Balbirnie on the way to a century against WI in May 2019
©Cricket Ireland
 
Fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell during warm-up exercises
Fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell during warm-up exercises
©CWI Media/Philip Spooner
 

All you need to know about the Ireland tour of West Indies, comprising 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is.

The Ireland tour of West Indies, which will last from January 14 to January 19, is being played in times of financial instability in the Ireland Cricket Board. The country, after receiving Test recognition in 2017, had hoped of a consistent stream of funds, but that has not been the case.

The Euro T20 Slam being postponed by one year has further led to "financial headwinds". This has resulted in the the cancellation of a home Test against Bangladesh and a T20I series against Afghanistan. Their tour of Sri Lanka, which included a one-off Test match from 8 to 12 February this year, has also been postponed due to broadcasting issues.

It is clear that the team's focus is on white-ball cricket this year, with the ICC World Cup ODI Super League, ODI series against England and a T20 World Cup lined up. Ireland are coming off a win in the third-place playoff in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifiers and have went through some big changes after that.

Andrew Balbirnie was named the captain for the Tests and ODIs, following the resignation from erstwhile captain William Porterfield. Balbirnie has now been made Ireland's permanent captain across all the three formats.

However, both Porterfield and Wilson are still part of Ireland's scheme of things. William Portfield, though, has not found a place in the T20Is. All-rounder Shane Getkate, who had a forgettable run in the recently concluded T20 World Cup Qualifier, has not been included in both the squads.

Tyrone Kane and Tim Murtagh are the other two players to be replaced. Gareth Delany, Barry McCarthy and Craig Young enter the ODI squad. Fast bowler Stuart Thompson has made way for all-rounder Josh Little in T20Is.

After disappointing in the T20I series against Afghanistan, while winning the ODI series, West Indies seem to have come a long way as a unit in the six LOIs against India. Although they won only two matches on the tour and lost both the T20I and ODI series 2-1, they showed enough potential to excite the fans.

Under the leadership of Kieron Pollard, the Calypso Kings are beginning to settle down.

Shai Hope is the team's trump card in ODIs and is expected to get a bit more consistent support from Evin Lewis at the top. Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran have established themselves in the middle order. Skipper Kieron Pollard provides added power to their batting.

With Jason Holder having been rested for the first two ODIs, in a bid to manage his workload, Keemo Paul and Alzarri Joseph will get these two games to form a decent pace attack with Sheldon Cottrell. Khary Pierre, Roston Chase and Hayden Walsh Jr are their spin options.

With the kind of form that West Indies are in, they might prove too strong for Ireland, especially in home conditions. But, Balbirnie's boys will not get better preparation for the T20 World Cup against any other team.

 Series Predictions

 ODIs

 Winner -  West Indies (3-0)

Top Run Scorer -   Shai Hope (West Indies), Andrew Balbirnie (Ireland)

Top Wicket Taker -  Sheldon Cottrell (West Indies), Boyd Rankin (Ireland)

Most Sixes - Shimron Hetmyer (West Indies), Kevin O’Brien (Ireland)

T20Is

Winner -  West Indies (3-0)

Top Run Scorer -   Nicholas Pooran (West Indies), Andrew Balbirnie (Ireland)

Top Wicket Taker -  Sheldon Cottrell (West Indies), Boyd Rankin (Ireland)

Most Sixes - Shimron Hetmyer (West Indies), Andrew Balbirnie (Ireland)

Here are the squads of both teams:

West Indies squad for 1st & 2nd ODI: Kieron Pollard (c), Sunil Ambris, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Evin Lewis, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Hayden Walsh Jr

Ireland ODI squad: Andrew Balbirnie (c), Mark Adair, Gareth Delany, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Kevin O’Brien, William Porterfield, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker, Gary Wilson, Craig Young

Ireland T20I squad: Andrew Balbirnie (c), Mark Adair, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Josh Little, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Gary Wilson, Craig Young

 

Here's the complete schedule of the series:

Ireland tour of West Indies 2020 - 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is  Jan 04-Jan 19

Jan 07 West Indies v Ireland, 1st ODI Bridgetown, Barbados 5:00 PM

Jan 09 West Indies v Ireland, 2nd ODI Bridgetown, Barbados 5:00 PM

Jan 12 West Indies v Ireland, 3rd ODI St George's, Grenada 1:30 PM

Jan 15 West Indies v Ireland, 1st T20I St George's, Grenada 5:00 PM

Jan 18 West Indies v Ireland, 2nd T20I Basseterre, St Kitts 10:00 PM

Jan 19 West Indies vs Ireland, 3rd T20I Basseterre, St Kitts 10:00 PM


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