The first ODI between West Indies and Ireland takes place on Tuesday at the Kensington Oval. This series marks a transition phase for Ireland with Andrew Balbirnie named as the captain of the side. Although they boast of talented individuals, Ireland will start as underdogs against a formidable West Indies side that ran the Indians close last year.
The home side possesses a very explosive batting unit which could be hard to contain for the Irish bowlers, while the move to rest Jason Holder is also a notable exclusion. However, one cannot take Ireland lightly in the shorter format. With an exciting game on the cards, here are a few tips to help you pick your Dream11 team for WI vs IRE.
Squads to choose from
Kieron Pollard (C), Sunil Ambris, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Brandon King, Evin Lewis, Roston Chase, Keemo Paul, Romario Shepherd, Sheldon Cottrell, Shai Hope, Khary Pierre, Alzarri Joseph and Hayden Walsh.
Andrew Balbirnie (C), Paul Stirling, James McCollum, William Porterfield, Gareth Delany, Kevin O'Brien, Simi Singh, Lorcan Tucker, Gary Wilson, Mark Adair, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Boyd Rankin, Craig Young.
Playing XI updates
West Indies could expect Kieron Pollard and Nicholas Pooran to play a key role in their side. While Hope and Lewis have formed an able opening partnership, Shimron Hetmyer's recent performances against India will see him essay an important role in the middle order. Given that Jason Holder is rested, one can expect the home side to field two spinners in Hayden Walsh and Khary Pierre. Sheldon Cottrell will lead the bowling attack alongside Keemo Paul while Alzarri Joseph should get the nod over Romario Shepherd.
Possible XI: Lewis, Hope (WK), Hetmyer, Pooran, Pollard (C), Chase, Paul, Pierre, Walsh, Cottrell and Joseph.
Although there has been a change in captaincy, Ireland have a settled side geared up for this series. Along with Stirling and Porterfield, Balbirnie holds the key for Ireland with James McCollum and Gary Wilson also set to feature on Tuesday.
Kevin O'Brien provides the balance in the side with his experience and expertise as an all-rounder. The emergence of Mark Adair and Gareth Delany bodes well for the Irish, while Boyd Rankin will have a crucial role to play with the new ball.
Possible XI: Stirling, Porterfield, Balbirnie (C), McCollum, Wilson (WK), O'Brien, Delany, McBrine, Adair, Rankin and McCarthy.
West Indies vs Ireland, 1st ODI
January 7th 2020, 11:00 PM IST
Kensington Oval, Barbados.
The last time an ODI was played at his venue, England and West Indies oversaw a high scoring game with some turn on offer. A similar type of wicket is expected on Tuesday as well with the pacers bound to get some help from the overlying conditions. Both teams will be looking to chase upon winning the toss with scores of over 270 being expected in Barbados.
Fantasy tips and suggestions
Wicket-keeper: Both Gary Wilson and Shai Hope are preferred for this game in the fantasy team. Shai Hope had a wonderful 2019 as he scored 1345 runs at an average of 61.13. Coming in on the back of a sensational ODI series against India, Shai Hope should continue his fine form against the Irish. With spin expected to play a major role, Gary Wilson, who is a decent player of spin, should also fit the bill.
Batsmen: The duo of Paul Stirling and Shimron Hetmyer are must-haves in the fantasy side. Both of them are adept at facing both spin and pace, apart from their ability to briskly go about their scoring. Along with them, Ireland captain, Andy Balbirnie would also be a worthwhile pick while the option of picking Evin Lewis owing to his aggression at the top of the order could add value.
Allrounders: West Indies captain Kieron Pollard has led from the front since his appointment as captain. Along with a couple of overs with the ball, Pollard's big-hitting prowess has also come on to the fore with the West Indian scoring a brilliant 74 in the final ODI against India. Another such option would be Kevin O'Brien, who can contribute with both bat and ball, while Roston Chase is a decent pick as well considering the nature of the pitch.
Bowlers: Sheldon Cottrell and Mark Adair should be the first bowlers on the fantasy team sheet for this game. While Cottrell has been West Indies' best bowler in this format since the start of 2019 with 31 wickets, Mark Adair's additional batting ability holds him in good stead. Another bowler who can bat a bit as well is Keemo Paul, who impressed against India with six wickets in three games. As for the final pick, one of Hayden Walsh or Alzarri Joseph should complete the fantasy team.
Captain: Shai Hope and Paul Stirling are the ideal candidates for the multiplier options. Both of them bat at the top of the order and have some decent amount of experience under their belt. While Hope's recent form holds in high regard, Paul Stirling can also double up as the third spin option which should bring in some fantasy points as well. If one were to pick a bowler as captain or vice-captain, Sheldon Cottrell should suffice.
Fantasy Suggestion #1: Gary Wilson, Shai Hope, Andy Balbirnie, Paul Stirling, Shimron Hetmyer, Kieron Pollard, Roston Chase, Hayden Walsh, Keemo Paul, Mark Adair and Sheldon Cottrell. Captain: Shai Hope, Vice-Captain: Paul Stirling
Fantasy Suggestion #2: Gary Wilson, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Paul Stirling, Kieron Pollard, Kevin O'Brien, Alzarri Joseph, Sheldon Cottrell, Hayden Walsh and Mark Adair. Captain: Shai Hope, Vice-Captain: Sheldon Cottrell