And, so here we are! After over four months of hiatus, International white-ball cricket will finally return when world champions England will square off against Ireland in the first game of the three-match series at the bio-secure Rose Bowl in Southampton.
This will be the first time that world champions England will play a One-day International on home soil after their maiden world cup triumph last summer. Eoin Morgan’s side has since then played just two completed two 50-over games, which was during their tour of South Africa last winter.
With the home side having a jam-packed schedule this summer, quite a few first-choice players like Ben Stokes, Test captain Joe Root, swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler will be missing from the series.
Their absence will give the likes of Tom Banton, James Vince, and Sam Billings a chance to stake their claim in white-ball teams.
Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow will open the batting followed by the likes James Vince, skipper Eoin Morgan, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, and spin-bowling all-rounder Moeen Ali. It will be interesting to see who England gives the wicket-keeping gloves- Jonny Bairstow or Sam Billings.
As far as bowling is concerned, the trio of David Willey, Saqib Mahmood, and Tom Curran will lead the fast bowling unit while Adil Rashid will serve as the leg-spin option.
Ireland hoping to kickstart the ODI Super League on a positive note against England
This will be a crucial series for the Irish. With the ODI Super League commencing with the three-match rubber, each and every match will be crucial for the Andrew Balbirnie-led unit, if they are to qualify for the 2023 World Cup.
Besides that, as head coach Graham Ford mentioned in the lead-up to the series, they will look to prove that are a much better side than pulling off ‘upsets’ and can actually compete and beat top teams on a regular basis.
Ireland lost their last ODI series to the West Indies 0-3 and they haven’t had the best of starts to their tour as they lost their warm-up game to English lions comprehensively. The likes of Paul Stirling , Andrew Balbirnie , William Porterfield  and Harry Tector  got starts in the warm-up game but none of them could convert them into a three-figure score, something they would have to do in the ODI series, considering the belligerent English batting line-up.
England vs Ireland 2020, 1st ODI, Southampton- Match Prediction-
Ireland have won just 1 ODI in their 10 meetings against England. That win came nine years ago courtesy Kevin O’Brien’s whirlwind hundred in Bangalore during the 2011 World Cup. The Irish have won 14 games and lost 15 in their last 30 fixtures since the start of 2018. During the same period, England have won 32 of their 49 ODIs, losing just 12. In-home conditions, their W/L ratio since January 2018 is 4.5 [18 wins and 4 defeats in 22 games]. Needless to say, Eoin Morgan’s side will start as massive favorites.