Ireland have had multiple problems ahead of this series. First, they ended up losing a T20I to the USA last month, which was embarrassing for them considering that they have much more experienced and full ICC members.
Even though they won the follow-up game, it was by a slim margin and the pain of the first match had their captain Andrew Balbirnie admit that they haven’t quite been up to the standard of a Test-playing nation. Even before that, they were unremarkable averages in the T20 World Cup.
Form concerns aside, they are now even missing their star batter Paul Stirling and all-rounder Shane Getkate, both of whom are in isolation following positive Covid tests.
Light both in terms of bodies and minds, the Irish were shellacked by Jamaica in a tour match, which appears to be a sign of things to come on this tour.
Ireland batted first and were 69 for 5 at one point before recovering to post a respectable 234, thanks to number seven batter George Dockrell’s 82. With the ball, the Europeans found early breakthroughs but couldn’t capitalize as Rovman Powell’s unbeaten and boundary-laden 82 coupled with Andre McCarthy’s 48 got a bulk of the job done.
West Indies were last in action in Pakistan where they got whitewashed in the T20I series and would have fared just as bad in the ODIs, had a Covid outbreak not (ironically) saved them from that anguish.
Like the Irish, the hosts are also missing a bunch of regulars. Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen, and Anderson Phillip have the virus whereas Andre Russell was overlooked. Shimron Hetmyer was also snubbed due to fitness issues and also caught flak from coach Phil Simmons for not meeting the team’s standards.
Captain Kieron Pollard, who missed the Pakistan tour due to being hamstrung, is fit again and back to lead the side. Also back is Jason Holder.
Meanwhile, the Windies fans will be excited about the anticipated debut of young pacer Jayden Seales, who has already impressed in both other formats.
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