Cricket World Test Series Prediction
England vs Ireland - Match Preview
🏏 1 June 2023 - 10:00 GMT +0
When this standalone four-day Test between England and Ireland gets underway, 262 days will have passed since England’s last home Test - a win over South Africa at The Oval. It will be the second time that Ireland visits Lord’s for a four-day Test, and the first since 2019, beginning a Test cricket carnival in the UK that will be followed next week by the World Test Championship final between Australia and India at The Oval prior to The Ashes on June 16th.
It will be a wonderful time for Test cricket fans in England and another special occasion for the Irish visitors, who have had to wait four years for a rematch of the 2019 Lord’s Test that took place in a narrow window between the 2019 World Cup and The Ashes. It was an especially memorable Test as England were bowled out for 85 from 23.4 overs ahead of lunch on the first day. More wickets were to follow on that day, with Ireland bowled out before the close of play, but not before they had established a 122 run-lead. As England had only one over to negotiate before time was called on the opening day, England’s number 11 Jack Leach was sent out as a nightwatchman before proceeding to make 92 on Day 2 - still his highest Test score and the only time he has made a half-century in Test cricket! The hosts posted 303 in their second innings before bowling Ireland out for 38 to complete a remarkable 143-run victory before 2 pm on the third day.
After that extraordinary contest, owing to the lengthy COVID-19 pandemic, Ireland had to wait until April of this year to play their next Test. But since the start of April, they have played Bangladesh once and Sri Lanka twice - all three games away. However, they lost all three Tests to take their overall record in the format to six losses from six Tests. During the same time period when Ireland did not play a Test, powerhouses England contested 49! Across all formats, the teams have met in three ODIs and one T20I since the Lord’s Test in 2019, with both sides winning two each.
England lost their last Test in February 2023, to New Zealand by a single run after enforcing the follow-on but it was only their second defeat in 12 Tests since Ben Stokes took over the captaincy and Brendon McCullum became head coach. The other one of those defeats came at Lord’s last summer and England has won only one of their last five Tests at the ‘Home of Cricket’.
In spite of a Test opening average of 27.60, an average which slips to 23.00 in Tests in England, Zak Crawley has retained his place in the side and looks set to do so for the rest of the summer. Jonny Bairstow, who has not played international cricket since August 2022 due to a broken leg, skipped the 2023 IPL in order to prioritise his rehabilitation for this international summer. He was selected ahead of wicketkeeper Ben Foakes and will finally get to build upon his return of 656 runs from his last six Test innings. James Anderson and Ollie Robinson will both miss this Test due to slight injuries and a focus on the Ashes. Stuart Broad, who took 7/79 at Lord’s in 2019, will lead the attack with Worcestershire’s Josh Tongue set to make his debut and become England’s 711th Men’s Test player.
Ireland’s 15-man squad saw no place for left-arm pacer Josh Little, who took seven wickets for Gujarat Titans from his ten matches in this year’s IPL. After a busy few weeks, he has been rested for this Test as Ireland clearly has an eye on the Cricket World Cup Qualifier event which is taking place later this month in Zimbabwe. The top two sides from that event will proceed to the 2023 World Cup in India in October which has been set as the country’s top priority this year.
The visitors posted their highest Test Match total (492) in the first innings of their last game against Sri Lanka, with significant runs from skipper Andy Balbirnie (95), Paul Stirling (103), Lorcan Tucker (80) and Curtis Campher (111). Tucker made his Test debut earlier this year and is averaging 48.16 from his six innings at this level. Mark Adair took three England wickets in both innings back in 2019 and he will be relishing the opportunity to take on the hosts once more at Lord’s. Conor Olphert had been set to make his Test debut in this match but, due to injury, was replaced in the squad by Matthew Foster.
Mostly sunny conditions are forecast throughout the four days of this test with a top temperature of 21 degrees expected on Sunday. No rain is currently anticipated, but Lord’s has an excellent drainage system in place, so any interruptions shouldn’t cause prolonged delays (unlike at the Narendra Modi Stadium in the IPL Final earlier this week!).
Players to watch: Although there will not be much Test experience among his pace-bowling teammates in this match, this will be Stuart Broad’s 27th Test at Lord’s. He has picked up 102 Test wickets at this venue - not bad considering his next best is Headingley with 49!
📋 Harry Tector celebrated his Test debut against Bangladesh earlier this year with half-centuries in both innings and came into this game with an average of 47.50 in this format. Although his average is down at 22.53 from 53 T20I innings, it is up at 53.33 in ODIs and he does not look out of place at the international level in longer formats.
⚡ Stat attack: Only two of the last nine Lord’s Tests were won batting first - by India against England in 2021 and in the 2019 meeting between these two nations.
- Ireland’s bowlers average a hefty 45.26 with the ball across their six Tests.
- England are yet to draw a Test during the McCullum-Stokes era (W10, L3).
- Mark Adair vs Joe Root in the 2019 Test: 2/3 from 11 balls.
- When bowled out, England were dismissed for scores between 120 - 165 in four of their last five Test innings at Lord’s.
- Joe Root averages 52.38 in Tests at Lord’s and scored a Test century here in both 2021 and 2022.
- After nine overseas Tests, this will be Ben Duckett’s first Test in England.
- With the ball, Mark Adair is yet to finish Test innings wicketless.
- When he hit 103 vs Sri Lanka, Paul Stirling became the 23rd player in men’s cricket to complete the set of a century in each of a Test, ODI and T20I.
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