Key England players undercooked
No Little for Ireland
England v Ireland
Thursday 1 June, 11.00
TV: Live on Sky Sports
England are without James Anderson and Ollie Robinson due to injuries which are not expected to keep them out of the Ashes. Captain Ben Stokes and key batters Joe Root and Harry Brook have not played any red-ball cricket and had personaly disastrous IPL campaigns.
As prep goes for the Ashes, it is farcical. In Anderson and Robinson's place come Matt Potts and Josh Tongue, a debutant as England desperately search for a point of differencd. Stuart Broad should be attack leader. Jonny Bairstow returns as keeper.
Probable XI: Crawley, Duckett, Pope, Root, Brook, Stokes, Bairstow, Broad, Leach, Potts, Tongue
Ireland have played only two Tests since they gave England an almighty fright at Lord's in 2019, rolling them for 89 in the first match innings. They have warmed-up for this with a win over Essex, who borrowed a clutch of their players.
Harry Tector and Lorcan Tucker are stand outs with the bat while opening pair James McCollum and Peter Moor got much-needed confidence boosts with a ton apiece in the tour game.
The Irish have minimal English first-class experience, though, and Josh Little, their left-arm pacer, is not involved following Gujarat Titans' IPL run.
Possible XI: McCollum, Moor, Balbirnie, Tector, Stirling, Tucker, Campher, Dockrell, Adair, McBrine, Hume
In 12 first-class all-out scores this summer, there have been only two totals of more than 300. That matches the formguide in Tests. In the last four there have been four all-out scores for 165 or fewer.
England's innings runs line could start off at around 385.5 to short. And that is not a bad wager. The surface combined with overcast conditions (albeit no rain) and a lack of game time for key batters makes them an unders play.
Ireland, likewise, would do well to bust the 270 mark. That may be available to lay at around 2.305/4. England's seam attack remains strong.
How to play
England are 1.132/15, Ireland 29.028/1 and the draw 11.5021/2. Given the lack of game time and the warning from history, there is potential for Enland to make hard work of this, at least initially.
In 2019, after England were bowled out cheaply there were wild swings on the match odds market before they evntually strolled home. We do not need a carbon copy but a strong Irish performance with the new ball in first innings could chop ten units from their price for a basic back-to-lay.
Root and Tucker have been boosted to 5/23.50 and 9/25.30 respectively for top England and Ireland bat respectively in the first dig with Sportsbook. Stuart Broad looks the right favourite at 2/12.94 for top England bowler like wise Mark Adair for the Irish at 3s.
Broad's first-innings wickets are available to go overs at 11/102.08 at 2.5 with Sportsbook and there may be interest in the 2/12.94 that a keep takes a catch in each of the four innings.
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