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Afghanistan vs. Ireland 2021 : CAN THE AFGHANIS RALLY? || 1st ODI

Afghanistan vs. Ireland 2021

1st ODI – Thu, 21st January

Supreme Afghanis:

 Afghanistan hasn’t played a one-day international game for over a year` where they were defeated 3-0 in a home series by the West Indies, so they will be zealous to get back to action with winning ways.

While they have stereotypically been more suited to the smaller format of T20, they are gritty to improve in the 50-over format. It has been pretty long they haven’t won an ODI and will be eyeing men with the records. Their last win came against Ireland in 2019 May. 

Their star trio of Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman have all departed their way from BBL teams for international duty. They shall form the core bowling lineup for the squad. But eventually, their batting unit remains under a burden to produce, which has customarily been their weakness. These three players have had a good run in BBL and shall carry their momentum into this game. 

Possible playing XI: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Mohammad Nabi, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Asghar Afghan, Gulbadin Naib, Naveen ul Haq, Mujeeb ur Rahman.

Gutsy Ireland:

The Irish camp is back from a 4 match series against UAE, which was later reduced to 2 matches owing to COVID 19 issues. The preparations and strategies were disrupted throughout, but they will take heart from their performance and win in the second game. 

They lost the first game quite comprehensively; however, they came back with a strong response to win by 112 runs. They were not looking very great with the initial breakout at 10/3 but somehow managed to sturdy up and put up a fighting total of 228. Despite the subpar score, their impressive bowling lineup led by Simi Singh restricted the rivals to win remarkably. 

They are expected to keep confidence with the same roster that won the match last time out to give them steadiness and more time in the middle, particularly for O’Brien, Stirling, and Balbirnie, who wriggled last time out.

Possible playing XI: Kevin O’Brien, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Gareth Delany, Harry Tector, Andy Balbirnie, Andy McBrine, Craig Young, Curtis Campher.

The venue, Pitch Report, and Toss Prediction:

The first ODI match between Afghanistan and Ireland will be played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on 21st January Thursday.

The Sheikh Zayed Stadium is known to be a batting paradise. We witnessed it during the IPL. Batters like to exploit the conditions from the very beginning—additionally, the shorter boundary dimensions aid the batsmen’s hand. The wicket does start slowing down as the game progresses, thus batting first makes it handy to put pressure on the rivals early on.

 The pacers should make the most of the swing offered to strike some early blows, as the spinner might not be very useful in the middle overs. Hence, we reckon the toss is going to very crucial. Either captain will elect to bat first on winning the toss and make fair use of the situation.  

Afghanis Rated the Superior Outfit:

The Afghanis are the exhaustive favorites to enter this game at 1.33, while the Irish team trails at 3.35. The rates purely reflect the star-studded picks in Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, and Mujeeb ur Rahman. NO doubt they are top performers; however, the numbers can be deceptive.

The Irish team has the bonus of having played on the same surface recently and having won a game against UAE. They should be poised and carry the momentum into this series.

Thus, we reckon that placing bets at an earlier stage could be risky, and waiting for the correct prices could be wiser. As Afghanistan’s lack of pre-match experience could wary the rates sparingly.

Rashid to Top Ball Market:

Rashid Khan likes the Irish team way too much. He records an incredible bowling average of 13.34, striking 89 wickets in mere 37 games against Ireland. His favorite opposition indeed. The cherry on the cake being his BBL campaign. He was phenomenal with the bat as well as the bowl during his BBL stint.