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|Mark Richard Adair||8.0||0||48||0||6.00|
After an eternally long time, cricket seems to be back to normal even for the associate nations. Spectators have already returned to the fold in Australia and with cricket resuming between the associate nations as well, we are well and truly back to normal. United Arab Emirates are set to host Ireland for a four-match ODI series, the first of which is to be played on 8th January at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
While the hosts walk in as underdogs in this match, their players have had a fair bit of experience in domestic cricket of late. Most of their players who are going to be part of their playing eleven played in the UAE's domestic T20 competition. The experience of playing competitive cricket recently would certainly prove to be of immense benefit.
For United Arab Emirates, the experience or lack thereof would be an important factor. Apart from their skipper, Rohan Mustafa, not many of their players are experienced in playing top-level cricket. Chirag Suri and Ahmed Raza have played a decent amount of cricket and this trio will need to fire for UAE to do something of substance here.
Unlike Ireland, UAE are reliant more on their specialists and the lack of versatile all-rounders takes a bit of balance away from the hosts. Again, Mustafa is going to be key for them in this department as well. He has 758 runs to his name and has picked 42 wickets in his career of 38 matches.
All in all, the United Arab Emirates are capable of causing an upset and they have done that in the past. If the likes of Chirag Suri, Rohan Mustafa, and Ahmed Raza contribute, UAE will be in it big time.
Vriitya Aravind, Muhammad Usman, Alishan Sharafu, Chundangapoyil Rizwan, Zawar Farid, Rohan Mustafa, Ahmed Raza, Karthik Meiyappan, Waheed Ahmed, Kashif Daud, Zahoor Khan.
It's been a while since Ireland have debuted on the international stage, but they still haven't really been able to step up their game over the years. They have caused a few important upsets, but apart from that their progress in the international circuit has been far from notable. They have acquired test status but would want to do more in all three formats of the game going forward.
Even though Ireland haven't really been able to do anything of substance over the test playing nations, their performance against the affiliate and associate nations has been near flawless. Against UAE, they have won all their completed matches in the last three years.
On paper, Ireland are going in with their full-strength squad into their series. They have the likes of Paul Stirling and Kevin O' Brien available at their disposal and that adds much-needed experience in their lineup. Besides the duo, the likes of Andy Balbirnie and Harry Tector have done well for the men in green in recent times.
They have a decent bowling attack as well and the presence of versatile all-rounders in their bowling attack only improves it further. Simi Singh, Mark Adair, and Gareth Delany could play a key role in the upcoming match. Having said that, Ireland's fortunes will rest on the shoulders of their experienced players and if they are able to do well, Ireland should start the series on a high.
Lorcan Tucker, PR Stirling, Kevin O'Brien, Andy Balbirnie, Harry Tector, Gareth Delany, Curtis Campher, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Andy McBrine, Craig Young.
Ireland haven't really played Cricket for a while and that could prove to be a factor for them. On the other hand, UAE's players have had extensive match practice in the UAE's recent domestic competition. Having said that, Ireland have a more experienced and a better-balanced side, and therefore, we think that they'll win the upcoming with considerable ease.
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