Afghanistan vs Ireland 2021, 1st ODI: Match Preview And Prediction

On Thursday (21st January), Afghanistan will take on Ireland in the first ODI of the three-match ODI series at Sheikh Zayed Stadium (Abu Dhabi). This ODI series will be a part of the 2020–23 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League.

Last time, Afghanistan and Ireland met in an ODI on 21st May 2019 at Belfast, where the visitors Afghanistan won that match by 126 runs.

Afghanistan vs Ireland 2021, 1st ODI: Match Preview

Afghanistan

Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Afghanistan are ready to restart their international cricket with this ODI series. Since March 2020, it will be their first international match. They last time played an international cricket match on 10th March 2020 against Ireland during the Greater Noida T20. After the tie result, the Irish team finally claimed a victory in the Super Over. However, this ODI match will be their first ODI since November 2019, when they played an ODI series against West Indies in Lucknow.

With this ODI match, Afghanistan will begin their journey in the 2020–23 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League.

Afghanistan have brought a strong side for this ODI series. Moreover, Asghar Afghan will continue to lead this Afghanistan side, it will be his first ODI captaincy since March 2019, after which he was removed from the leadership role.

Full Squad

Asghar Afghan (C), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Rahmat Shah, Naveen ul haq, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan (vc), Yamin Ahmadzai, Usman Ghani, Azmatullah Omarzai, Gulbadin Naib Sayed Ahmad Shirzad, Javed Ahmadi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Sharafuddin Ashraf.

Ireland

Image Credits: Twitter

This ODI series will be Ireland’s second ODI series in the 2020–23 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League. The hosts England were their first opponents in this competition, where Ireland lost by the 2-1 margin in last July-August.

In the ongoing UAE tour, Ireland just completed their four-match ODI series against the hosts UAE. After losing the first ODI by 6 wickets, the next ODIs were cancelled due to COVID-19 health concerns. While the last ODI of that series was also rescheduled, Ireland levelled that series by winning the last ODI by 112 runs.

Paul Stirling, skipper Andrew Balbirnie and Kevin O’Brien are the crucial names in this ODI squad. In the UAE series, Stirling hit a century while Balbirnie scored a half-century.

While the Irish batting was struggling in the last ODI against UAE, Curtis Campher and Simi Singh scored half-centuries after Harry Tector and wicket-keeper batsman Lorcan Tucker built up a strong base post early batting collapse. Late, Simi Singh also bagged five wickets in that game to claim the Player of the Match award. Meanwhile, Curtis Campher won player of the series award in that ODI series for his impressive all-round performances.

Full Squad

Andrew Balbirnie (C), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Kevin O’Brien, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young, Shane Getkate.

Afghanistan vs Ireland 2021, 1st ODI: Match Prediction

Image Courtesy: Twitter

In the recent times, Afghanistan have achieved better success against Ireland. However, their recent ODI records are still very competitive.

Though Afghanistan will play their first international match since March 2020, some of their big players were active in various T20 leagues.

As Afghanistan have the stronger side, they are favourite for this ODI. However, Ireland have the tendency to improve team performance with the time progress.

Sandipan Ghosh

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