South Africa will kick off their tour of Ireland with an ICC Cricket World Cup Super League series in Dublin. The Proteas lost their previous ODI series against Pakistan by 1-2, but they will start as the overwhelming favorites to win against Ireland.
The reason behind it is that the Proteas have almost all of their big names available for this series. The likes of Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada, David Miller, Rassie van der Dussen and Anrich Nortje will play under the leadership of Temba Bavuma in the upcoming three-match series.
On the other hand, Ireland will be without their experienced all-rounder Kevin O'Brien, who recently announced his retirement. Andy Balbirnie's men will have to play out of their skin to record a win in the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League series against South Africa.
Ireland vs South Africa: Who will come out on top in Dublin?
South Africa and Ireland will play their first bilateral ODI series in cricket history. Prior to this tour, the two nations battled five times in the 50-overs format, where the Proteas emerged victorious in all matches. Three of their five meetings took place in Cricket World Cups, while the remaining two games were one-off matches.
South Africa crushed Ireland by a margin of more than 200 runs in each of their previous two encounters. Temba Bavuma was the Player of the Match in their last faceoff. The South African skipper played a marvelous knock of 113 runs in that match, while Kagiso Rabada bowled a decent spell of 4-1-22-1.
Apart from the head-to-head record, the recent form also favors the Proteas. South Africa have won four of their last six ODI meetings. They whitewashed Australia 3-0 at home before Pakistan beat them 2-1 in the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League.
Meanwhile, Ireland have registered only three victories in their last ten matches. They lost the series against England by 1-2 and then drew with the UAE 1-1. Afghanistan then blanked them 3-0 in the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League which was followed by a 1-2 defeat at the hands of the Netherlands.
The Irish team has produced some excellent performances at the Cricket World Cup events, but the side has been very inconsistent. The fact that they recorded a win over reigning world champions England and then lost an ODI series to non-Test playing nation Netherlands highlights their inconsistency.
Although Ireland will have home advantage in the series against South Africa, it will be very difficult for them to beat the Proteas. South Africa will be high on confidence, having defeated the West Indies in Tests and T20Is recently.
It will not be a surprise if fans get to witness a lop-sided encounter between Ireland and South Africa in Dublin.
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Prediction: South Africa to win the 1st ODI against Ireland.