England vs Ireland – Only Test Match Preview & Prediction
When is England vs Ireland taking place? Thursday, June 1st-4th, 2023 – 11:00 (UK)
Where is England vs Ireland taking place? England vs Ireland will take place at Lord’s Cricket Ground, London
What channel is England vs Ireland on? England vs Ireland will be televised live on Sky Sports in the UK
Where can I stream England vs Ireland? Sky Sports subscribers in the UK can stream England vs Ireland live on Sky Go.
England beat Ireland by 143 runs
England begin one of the most highly-anticipated home Test summers in recent memory with a four-day Test against Ireland, whom they last played back in 2019, winning by 143 runs. Obviously so much has changed since then, but the current direction of the England Test team is certainly positive. Under the captaincy of Ben Stokes and coaching of Brendon McCullum, England won six of their seven Test matches played last summer, before securing a historic series victory in Pakistan. Their last red ball action saw them draw 1-1 away to New Zealand, that series culminating in a thrilling second Test which saw England fall agonisingly short by just one run.
With a five-match Ashes series on the horizon and a number of injuries having engulfed their large pack of pace bowlers, England are taking no chances in regards to team selection against Ireland. The likes of James Anderson, Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood are all rested, whilst Worcestershire bowler Josh Tongue is set to make his Test debut, having been selected ahead of Chris Woakes with Stuart Broad and Matthew Potts completing the bowling attack alongside spinner Jack Leach. Injury rules out Jofra Archer, Olly Stone and Brydon Carse, all pacers who would have been in the selection frame here had any of them been fit. Elsewhere, Jonny Bairstow returns to the team after having been side-lined with a broken leg since the end of last summer. He will keep wicket ahead of Ben Foakes, who drops out of the squad all-together. Under-fire opener Zak Crawley retains his place as does the star of England’s winter tests, Yorkshire’s Harry Brook.
Ireland have already faced a significant amount of Test cricket this year by their standards, but all those matches have come in the subcontinent. A seven-wicket loss in Bangladesh was followed up by consecutive innings defeats at the hands of Sri Lanka, Ireland conceding a whopping 1,295 runs in just two Sri Lankan innings over the course of those two Tests. Whilst conditions are expected to be more bowler friendly here, particular from a quicker bowling department, the ‘Boys in Green’ will have to significantly improve if they are to avoid another beating here. However, they have embarked on some much-needed red ball practise leading up to this Test, facing off against Essex in a three-day tour match at Chelmsford.
A fairly even contest had led to Ireland being set 232 to beat the Eagles. A target which they emphatically chased down without losing a single wicket. Opening pair James McCollum and Peter Moor both hit centuries in an unbroken stand that will have surely boosted both batters from a confidence perspective. All of Ireland’s players were afforded valuable practice, but both captain Andy Balbirnie and star batter Harry Tector will have been disappointed not to get a second bat, after being dismissed for 0 and 4 respectively in Ireland’s first innings. The biggest frustration gojng into this one-off Test will be that the tourists are without arguably their strongest bowler, left-arm pacer Josh Little having been rested following a long IPL campaign with Gujarat Titans and Ireland no doubt having one eye on the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup qualifiers.
The brutal fact is that this contest is a mismatch and England will be expected to dominate with both bat and ball. Their batting line-up in particular looks as strong as it has done for a long time in red ball cricket and should cash in on an Irish bowling attack minus Josh Little. With no rain forecast over the four days, the hosts will have plenty of time to take the 20 Irish wickets needed to triumph and running out of overs certainly won’t be an issue with the speed in which England bat under Stokes and McCullum. This summer is very much the acid-test for ‘Bazball’ and any outcome other than a winning start for England here against Ireland would be a huge shock.
TIP: ENGLAND TO WIN