UAE’s challenge to break losing run against Ireland
Ireland to win
United Arab Emirates would be looking to put their poor record against Ireland behind as they take them on in the first of the four ODIs at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. The hosts haven’t played an ODI game for a long time and it would be a challenge for them to hit form against a strong Irish side.
UAE has been through tough times for the last few years where they haven’t won too many games against teams ranked higher than them. It is often their poor show with the bat that has cost them dearly. They would be playing in batting friendly conditions and the side would like to use this to their advantage. Ireland isn’t likely to make life easy for them and it would be interesting to see if UAE have a surprise up their sleeves in this game.
Ahmed Reza’s side would take the field in an ODI game exactly a year after they last played in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup League. It won’t be easy for the side to come to the groove when they have so many odds stacked against them. They have never defeated Ireland in this format of the game and Reza would be looking to get over this poor record playing in home conditions.
Chirag Suri and Vriitya Aravind will have to provide a good start in these conditions where scoring runs against the new ball would be easy. In the middle order the side has good experience with Basil Hameed, Reza and Muhammad Usman in the side. Rohan Mustafa brings in lot of experience down the order and shall be looking to do well alongside Alishan Sharafu and Ansh Tandon.
Their bowlers would have a tough task on hand considering Ireland’s strong batting line-up. Zahoor Khan and Junaid Siddique must pick early wickets and stop the flow of runs with the new ball. Rohan Mustafa will need to bring his experience to play and keep the Irish batsmen tied up in the middle overs along with Karthik Meiyappan and Sharafu.
Ahmed Reza (c), Chirag Suri, Vriitya Aravind (wk), Rohan Mustafa, Muhammad Usman, Basil Hameed, Alishan Sharafu, Ansh Tandon, Zahoor Khan, Karthik Meiyappan, Junaid Siddique
Kashif Daud, Karthik Meiyappan, Rohan Mustafa, Chundangapoyil Rizwan, Muhammad Usman, Ahmed Raza, Zahoor Khan, Waheed Ahmed, Alishan Sharafu, Vriitya Aravind, Zawar Farid
Andrew Balbirnie’s side did well in England in their last ODI series where they gave the World Champions a scare. The skipper would like his side to put the same kind of performance and take an early lead in the series. They have a good bunch of players who have done well together for some time now and the skipper would like to see his side continue with their domination over UAE.
On the batting front Paul Stirling and Gareth Delany have done well together opening the batting and the side would have huge hopes on them. The middle order has good experience with Harry Tector, Balbirnie and Kevin O’Brien in the side. All of them are good hitters of the ball and so are Lorcan Tucker, Curtis Campher and Mark Adair down the order.
Mark Adair and Joshua Little have good pace and they would like to make it count in this game with the new ball. In Craig Young and Kevin O’Brien they have good experience in the middle overs. Simi Singh has been rising on confidence and adds variety to this bowling attack alongside Curtis Campher.
Andrew Balbirnie (c), Paul Stirling, Gareth Delany, Harry Tector, Kevin O’Brien, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Curtis Campher, Mark Adair, Joshua Little, Simi Singh, Craig Young
Kevin O'Brien, Mark Adair, Andy McBrine, Craig Young, Curtis Campher, Barry McCarthy, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker, Gareth Delany, Harry Tector, Andy Balbirnie
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||17||0 mm.||10.89 k/h||From: ENE||0%|
|03h||17||0 mm.||11.81 k/h||From: E||0%|
|06h||19||0 mm.||9.51 k/h||From: ENE||0%|
|09h||21||0 mm.||9.47 k/h||From: ENE||0%|
|12h||22||0 mm.||8.11 k/h||From: NE||0%|
|15h||20||0 mm.||8.37 k/h||From: NNE||0%|
|18h||19||0 mm.||6.26 k/h||From: ENE||0%|
|21h||18||0 mm.||5.75 k/h||From: NE||0%|
It would be typical Abu Dhabi weather on January 08 where the skies would be clear and there temperatures would be comfortable at the start of the game. The pitch is expected to be belter to start with and we expect a big score. The side that bats first would have to target a score in excess of 300 runs to feel safe on this track.
Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi is a big ground and hence batsmen have to work hard running twos and threes. The pitch is good one to bat on as the ball comes on to the bat nicely and the fast outfield also helps the batsmen. There isn’t much for the fast bowlers here but spinners have enjoyed good record here as the ball turns and grips on the track.
We have seen huge scores being put up by sides that have batted first on this surface. The pitch is best to bat on early in the afternoon and the ball tends to do a bit in the latter half of the game. The side winning the toss here should have no hesitation in batting first.
It would be a battle against all odds for the United Arab Emirates. The fact that they haven’t won a game against Ireland in the past is likely to play in their minds and they will need to get over this in this game. Ireland would start from a position of strength having a highly experience group of players with a strong batting line-up and this would make them favorites here.
Ireland to win