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IRL v WI, One-off ODI Preview: West Indies aim for good match practice as they lock horns with the Irish

The Caribbean men will definitely prove to be a tough nut to crack, but it'd be foolish to take their opponents for granted. 

Windies West Indies
West Indies. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

The Test series proved to be a disaster on paper, but West Indies will have to look at the brighter side of things rather than repenting. England did win the final Test comfortably, but Windies did throw a good fight and their performance was much better than what it was before. Jason Holder and his men will now combat with Ireland before the ODI series against England commences.

This is one of those rare occasions for West Indies to show their supremacy and they’d be eager to embrace it. With the likes of Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, and Jerome Taylor coming back into the side, their side looks balanced in terms of the youth and experience mix. The Caribbean men will definitely prove to be a tough nut to crack, but it’d be foolish to take their opponents for granted.

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There’s no shortage of big match experience in the Irish side. They recently received a huge boost when ICC finally granted them a well deserved “Test Status”. Years of hard work and perseverance finally paid off big time for William Porterfield and his troops and this is one great opportunity to prove that they’re as good as any other side in the world.

The 2015 World Cup group stage encounter between these sides was a cracker of a contest with the Irish pipping Darren Sammy’s men by a handsome margin. This side is definitely capable of beating the visitors and it’d be fair to say that this game is going to provide a lot of entertainment.

Probable XI

Ireland

William Porterfield (capt), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O’Brien, Andy Balbirnie, Kevin O’Brien, Gary Wilson (wk), Tim Murtagh, George Dockrell, Peter Chase, Boyd Rankin

West Indies

Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Marlon Samuels, Shai Hope (wk), Jason Mohammed, Jason Holder (capt), Rovman Powell, Ashley Nurse, Devendra Bishoo, Jerome Taylor, Kesrick Williams

Focus will be on

Paul Stirling (Ireland)

It’s always good to have swashbuckling openers on your side and Paul Stirling is definitely one of them. The 27-year-old has been a pivotal part of this cog which registered some mind boggling triumphs over the past few years. He spanks the ball a long distance and paces his innings pretty well unlike other aggressive openers. If he gets going on the match day, the Irish fans will have an absolute ball.

Evin Lewis (West Indies)

One of the most highly rated youngsters in the Caribbean islands, Evin Lewis is a quintessential West Indian batter who brings in the Calypso flavor with every shot he plays. The southpaw hits the long ball with great ease and potentially is the most talented player in the unit. Belfast’s boundaries are not too gigantic and if the ball is coming nicely on to the bat, the Irish bowlers will find it incredibly difficult to bowl out their 50 overs.

Playing combinations

Ireland

Skipper William Porterfield will accompany the experienced campaigner Paul Stirling at the top. There are some very useful players in the middle order like Ed Joyce, Kevin O’Brien, Niel O’Brien and Gary Wilson, who bring in a lot of experience of playing big games.

Peter Chase has been their best bowler in recent days and it’ll be interesting to see how he copes with the likes of Gayle and Lewis in a ground where it’s not really difficult to clear the ropes. Boyd Rankin, Kevin O’Brien, and Tim Murtagh are the other fast bowling options for Porterfield. George Dockrell is the only spinner in the side and his job will probably be the toughest on Wednesday.

West Indies

The entertaining duo of Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis will take charge of the innings with Marlon Samuels coming in at number 3. Shai Hope had a magnificent outing in the Test series and he will try to carry that momentum forward. Jason Mohammed, Jason Holder (capt), Rovman Powell and Ashley Nurse provide more stability in the middle order.

Jerome Taylor will lead the fast bowling contingent and he will be sharing the new ball with Jason Holder or Kesrick Williams. Williams did a good job in the ODI series against India and he needs few more good performances to earn an assured place. They have decent spinning options in Ashley Nurse and Devendra Bishoo and on paper, they look way too stable and well organized for the Irish.

StatAttack

301 – Despite being a relatively small ground, the highest team score ever registered in Belfast is 301. England scored these runs way back in 2006.

461 – With 461 runs in 11 innings, Ed Joyce is the highest run scorer at that ground.

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