After the T20I and ODI series, the action now shifts to the red-ball format as Afghanistan and Ireland gear up to face each other for the first time in the history of test cricket. This one-off test match will be played from March 15 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. Live telecast is scheduled to begin at 10 AM local time each day of the match.
AFG vs IRE, Test: Where to Watch/Live Streaming
TV channels: Sony Six, Sky Sport NZ, Fox Sports, OSN Sports Cricket HD
Live Streaming: Bet365, SonyLIV, SuperSport, Rabbitholebd Sports
Afghanistan have a few talented players in their batting line-up and the onus will be on the likes of Mohammad Shahzad, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan and Mohammad Nabi to score the big runs for them. Asghar Afghan topped the runs charts in the preceding ODI series. The skipper smashed three half-centuries in the series and he will be expected to lead from the front once again. Rahmat Shah's contribution will be crucial at the top while Nabi will be the team's biggest hope in the middle order. The latter will also have a big role to play with the ball as well. Apart from Nabi, Afghanistan will also look to Rashid Khan and Yamin Ahmadzai to take wickets and apply pressure on Ireland. Yamin took three wickets in last year's test match against India and he will be backed by his team to provide the early breakthroughs with the new ball. Rashid, however, will pose the biggest threat to the Irish batsmen and he is more likely to take the most wickets for Afghanistan in this match.
Afghanistan Predicted Playing 11
Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan (c), Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Ali Khil/Sayed Shirzad, Rashid Khan, Yamin Ahmadzai, Zahir Khan, Wafadar Momand
Ireland Team News & Playing 11
Ireland's batting in this test match will depend primarily on Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie, William Porterfield and Kevin O'Brien. Stirling and Balbirnie were the team's best batsmen in the ODIs with 190 and 215 runs respectively and they will be expected to carry their white-ball form into this match. Kevin O'Brien had starred with the bat in Ireland's debut test against Pakistan last year with scores of 40 and 118 in the respective innings and it will be crucial that he bats well in this match. Ireland will be counting on their frontline bowlers Tim Murtagh, Andy McBrine, George Dockrell and Boyd Rankin to come good with the ball. Dockrell finished as the best bowler in the ODI series with eight wickets in five matches and the left-arm spinner is likely to be the most effective of the lot on this spin-friendly surface. Ireland's key man with the new ball will be Tim Murtagh who took a match-haul of six wickets in the test against Pakistan.
Ireland Predicted Playing 11
William Porterfield (c), Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie, Simi Singh, Kevin O'Brien, George Dockrell, Stuart Poynter (wk), Andy McBrine, James Cameron-Dow, Tim Murtagh, Boyd Rankin
Afghanistan vs Ireland Betting Odds
Afghanistan begin as favorites to win this one-off test match at short odds of 1.41 on Betrally and 1.44 on both Betway and Bet365. Ireland are the underdogs for this game and are being offered at a higher price of 3.75 on Bet365 and 3.60 on both Betway and Betrally. A drawn game stands at 10 on Betway, 9 on Bet365 and 8.25 on Betrally.
Afghanistan vs Ireland Prediction
Ireland did well to prevent a series defeat in the recently concluded ODI series with a convincing five-wicket win in the fifth game. They will surely gain some confidence after that win and will look to replicate that performance in this match. However, it won't be easy for them to beat Afghanistan in the longest format of the game in these conditions. The hosts have a couple of world-class spinners in their ranks and the Irish batsmen are likely to struggle against them. The two teams will be going head-to-head for the first time in test cricket and we expect Afghanistan to come out on top.
Back Afghanistan to beat Ireland in the only test match at 1.41 with Betrally and 1.44 with both Betway and Bet365.