ODI series preview: Ireland v Sri Lanka

Ireland

Five weeks on from experiencing vastly contrasting World Twenty20 campaigns, opportunity is very much the buzzword around Dublin this week as Ireland face Sri Lanka in two ODIs with plenty at stake for both sides.

Five weeks on from experiencing vastly contrasting World Twenty20 campaigns, opportunity is very much the buzzword around Dublin this week as Ireland face Sri Lanka in two ODIs with plenty at stake for both sides.

The visitors, who overcame their enduring final hurdle hoodoo in Bangladesh, begin their tour of the UK with interim coach Marvan Attapatu at the helm and several of their fabled stalwarts absent.

Inevitably, there has been more heed on the names that aren't in the Emerald Isle this week than the ones that are, but with a couple of berths for the forthcoming limited-overs series against England seemingly unoccupied, those that are involved here have a chance to put their case for inclusion forward.

Preparations have been far from ideal but as Sri Lanka arrive in Ireland, for the first time since 1979, the focus remains firmly on building towards next year's World Cup. The abrupt departure of head coach Paul Fabrace and the preputial upheaval off the field has somewhat overshadowed the build-up to what is their biggest tour of the year.

For now, however, a line has been drawn under the pay issues and focus is firmly on the cricket. While much of the attention will be on the islanders and how they fare under the new management team, there is more riding on these games for Ireland than simply having the chance to topple another full member.

A premature exit from the World T20 was a setback that raised a couple of questions over Phil Simmons' selectorial strategy and the hosts will be determined to prove it was nothing more than a minor blip.

<b>Squads</b><br><i>Ireland:</i> William Porterfield (captain), Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Tim Murtagh, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Andrew Poynter, Max Sorensen, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson.

<i>Sri Lanka:</i> Angelo Mathews (captain), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera, Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella, Dinesh Chandimal, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Ashan Priyanjan, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Chaturanga de Silva, Sachithra Senanayake, Suranga Lakmal, Dhammika Prasad, Ajantha Mendis.

<b>Fixtures</b><br>First ODI: 6 May, Clontarf<br>Second ODI: 8 May, Clontarf

<b>Ryan Bailey</b>

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