England vs Ireland Only Test: Preview and Prediction

The Anglo-Irish Clash to kick-start the summer season for the Three Lions

The carnival of the world’s grandest T20 league is over and the spotlight has now moved towards international cricket where a red-ball clash between two neighborhood rivals will kick-start the English summer. 

England will be indulged in one-off combat with the familiar foes Ireland as the preparatory test ahead of their anticipated Ashes campaign. Lord’s, the Mecca of Cricket will be the host of the only fixture of the bilateral saga between the Three Lions and the Leprechauns commencing this Saturday.  

The English roster is already trapped with the injury crisis even before the commencement of the summer season and especially the pace bowling which looks in a wobbly state. James Anderson and Ollie Robinson won’t be available before the Ashes while the Durham speedster Mark Wood is also doubtful but may still make it to the playing XI. 

Brendon McCullum has recently expressed concerns over the fitness of Ben Stokes and has also indirectly confirmed that the 31-year-old skipper will be only contributing with willow in this game.  

The star Irish pacer Joshua Little has been rested from this forthcoming contest as Cricket Ireland wants to keep their in-form knight fresh ahead of the World Cup Qualifiers. Thomas Mayes had a wonderful First-Class debut against Essex after scalping seven wickets and is knocking on the door of the Greens eleven. However, the performance still may not be enough for the youngster to make the cut as the Leprechauns are already facilitated with plenty of fast-bowling options. 

What have they done so far?

England’s last appearance in All Whites was back in February 2023 when the gaffer Brendon McCullum and the skipper Ben Stokes marched towards their homeland. The Three Lions who turned up for that series on New Zealand soil after an away clean sweep over Pakistan, also kick-started the saga by clinching the opening fixture. 

However, the Blackcaps staged a quick bounce-back in the following game with the tiniest win margin of 1 run and daunted the Poms from registering consecutive away whitewash triumphs. 

On the other hand, Men in Green featured in three Test matches in the month of April 2023 and ended up on the losing side of all three of them. Their most recent appearance was in an away two-match series with Sri Lanka where the Lankan Lions emerged victorious with an innings margin in both fixtures. 

The opening innings of the Galle Test was the highlight of the series for the Leprechauns as they posted their highest team total of 492 starring the centuries of Paul Stirling and Curtis Campher. 

Head to Head record 

The last time these two combatants squared off against each at Lord’s

Ireland along with Afghanistan were the two teams who were granted Test status in June 2017 thus making them the eleventh Test-playing nation in the ICC roster. Following their impressive performance in the debut match, the Leprechauns went on to face the traditional rivals England the next year. 

England kick-started the Lord’s clash on a thumping note after Tim Murtagh’s maiden five-wicket haul played a pivotal role in enforcing an all-out to the home side on 85 runs inside 23.4 overs. The Irish batting came out to bat with a fighting spirit and ended up with a healthy lead of 122 runs before proceeding for the third innings. 

Jack Leach who opened the English innings as night watchman turned it into an extended cameo of 92 runs which helped the Three Lions to set the final target of 182 for the Leprechauns. However, Men in Green couldn’t handle the pressure of the fourth-inning chase and got bundled out on the minimal score of 38 which still stands as their lowest in the cricket’s longest format. 

Key Players

Stirling eying on extending his purple patch furthermore

Paul Stirling: After missing out on the one-off Bangladesh game and the opening fixture of the Sri Lanka series, Stirling returned to international red-ball cricket after four years with a bang. 

The 32-year-old destructive batter struck his maiden Test century against the deadly Lankan bowling attack and had two 80+ partnerships before departing on the individual score of 103. Stirling continued his run-scoring show after smashing yet another ton in the recently concluded practice match and will be posing the biggest threat for the Three Lions. 

Stuart Broad: The Irish batting lineup is stacked with batters who are quite acquainted with the England conditions hence all eyes are on the Three Lions’s most experienced speedster. 

Broad has no fitness concerns and will be leading the Poms’ bowling attack in the absence of Anderson and Robinson. The 36-year-old veteran finished the NZ series with 10 dismissals from 2 matches including a couple of four-fers under his helm. 

Predicted XIs

England: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes ©, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, Mark Wood

Ireland: James McCollum, Peter Moor, Andy Balbirnie ©, Harry Tector, Paul Stirling, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Andy McBrine, Mark Adair, Craig Young 


The brand of cricket England has been playing in recent times, Brendon McCullum and his boys are very well capable of defeating any side in the world. Ireland needs to embrace the aggressive style of cricket if they are aiming to beat the Poms in their own conditions. However, the odds favor the Three Lions’ contention to emerge victorious as the Leprechauns may have to wait furthermore to register their first-ever Test triumph.