Dublin : Even as Ireland prepare for a fairy tale start to their Test cricket journey at the Malahide ground here from Friday, the historic contest against a relatively young Pakistan team will give the underdog hosts a great opportunity to recreate history in their own backyard. The European side will become the first to debut in Tests since Bangladesh did so in November 2000 against India, after being awarded Full Member status last June along with Afghanistan.
However, what could possibly be a spoilsport on this momentous occasion is the weather. Rain is forecast for a majority of the next five days, although if it relents, the cloudy conditions could play to the pacemen’s favour.
Going into the match, No.7 ranked Pakistan expectedly start as the favourites and can boast of World No.10 Test batsman in opener Azhar Ali as the top ranked batsman. Leg-spinner Yasir Shah leads Pakistan’s pack of bowlers at 16th position, while fast bowlers Mohammad Abbas (37th) and Mohammad Amir (39th) are the other prominent names. As for Ireland, players like captain William Porterfield and his opening partner Ed Joyce, all-rounders Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien would all be looking to make a fine start to their Test careers
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)