New Zealand's fringe names aim to impress
May 14, 2017
Start time 10.45am local (0945 GMT)
New Zealand have faced Ireland just twice in their 721 ODIs. The last time was nine years ago, in 2008, in Aberdeen. Back then, Brendon McCullum strutted with blonde hair, James Marshall was his opening partner and Daniel Vettori was in charge of New Zealand. McCullum and Marshall's massive tons led New Zealand to 402 for 2, their only 400-plus score to date. The only surviving member of that team in this squad is Ross Taylor.
New Zealand will be without key personnel at least for the start of this series with Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Corey Anderson, Mitchell McClenaghan, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Adam Milne and Colin de Grandhomme on duty at the IPL although some may filter over to Ireland as their IPL campaigns conclude. That means New Zealand have the opportunity to test the depth of their reserves in all departments.
Bowling allrounders Seth Rance and Scott Kuggeleijn haven't played an ODI. George Worker has played just two games. Stand-in captain Tom Latham, Neil Broom, James Neesham, Colin Munro and Henry Nicholls have all struggled for fluency in the format. What better way to show your mettle than perform in tough batting conditions.
Ireland began the tri-series with discipline and accuracy, before rain scuppered their chances of springing an upset on Bangladesh. As has often been the case, Ireland didn't find the penetration they needed to sustain pressure over a considerable period, letting Bangladesh recover from 70 for 4. Still, they'll find that the experience of having played games like those against international teams will hold them in good stead.
(last five completed matches, most recent first)
New Zealand LWLWL
In the spotlight
Paul Stirling is in the midst of a productive run in ODIs: his last eight innings have been 48, 20, 51, 28, 99, 95, 68 and 41. With an impressive strike rate in excess of 90, Stirling, more often than not, gets Ireland off to strong starts with the field restrictions. Against a relatively inexperienced bowling attack, Stirling's attacking approach could put Ireland ahead of the game early.
Ross Taylor found form in New Zealand's home summer against Australia and South Africa. He struck two hundreds and a fifty in taxing batting conditions. Dublin's overhead and underfoot conditions won't suit batting much either. After recovering from the calf strain which kept him out of the last two Tests against South Africa, will he tune-up for the Champions Trophy by continuing to score tough runs?
The signs from Ireland's bowlers were promising in the 31.1 overs possible in the first ODI. Their seamers were accurate and had Bangladesh stuttering at 70 for 4 at one point. That means Ireland are unlikely to tinker with their bowling combination. If Ed Joyce recovers from the back problem that kept him out of the series opener, he'll slot back in for Stuart Thompson.
Ireland (probable) 1 Ed Joyce/Stuart Thompson, 2 Paul Stirling, 3 William Porterfield (capt), 4 Andy Balbirnie, 5 Niall O'Brien (wk), 6 Gary Wilson, 7 Kevin O'Brien, 8 George Dockrell, 9 Barry McCarthy, 10 Tim Murtagh, 11 Peter Chase
The New Zealand selectors have shown faith not just in Tom Latham's sound technique, but also his leadership. He will be able to turn to Taylor for experience but elsewhere there will be a new-look to the side. Neil Wagner could make his ODI debut after 32 Test appearances and Hamish Bennett is in line for his first appearance since 2014. The pitch was very green for the Bangladesh game which could mean legspinner Ish Sodhi misses out. Luke Ronchi is set for another chance as opener
New Zealand (probable) 1 Tom Latham (capt), 2 Luke Ronchi (wk), 3 George Worker, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Neil Broom, 6 James Neesham, 7 Colin Munro, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Neil Wagner, 10 Seth Rance, 11 Hamish Bennett
Pitch and conditions
The series opener was played on a seamer-friendly, green pitch, under cloudy skies with a high chance of rain. Those conditions are unlikely to change. Rain is forecast at 2pm, around the turn of the innings.
Stats and trivia
- Only three players who were part of the previous encounter between these two sides are in either squad - Ross Taylor, Paul Stirling and Gary Wilson
- Kevin O'Brien is still three wickets away from becoming the first Ireland bowler to take 100 ODI scalps.
Nikhil Kalro is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo