Ireland have been playing against top teams since 2006; but all of them are consolatory series which taking them nowhere near to acquire the test status. As Bangladesh and Zimbabwe still lagged behind in this format Ireland have a great opportunity to flourish.
But to flourish in the test matches; they have to get the test status. But under the given context it’s not a easy going path for Ireland. Since 2006 they have hosted limited number of matches against top nations but the end results were not satisfactory.
They have been playing consolatory series against top teams which are mainly scheduled to play against England. They see the Ireland-series as a practice session. No greater outcomes have been produced from this series as Ireland failed to make any statement.
To send a clear statement or a message to ICC they need to play series with at least three matches; playing one-off or two series won’t provide any result; as most of them end in 1-1 draw or 2-0 defeat. If Ireland thinks these consolatory series will take them to their goal of playing in ‘White Jersey’ they’re so very wrong.
The consolatory series does not give any impression that they are ready to compete in whites. Rather they need to focus on how they can have a full-series with top team and prepare themselves accordingly.
In 2007 Ireland lost the one-offs against India and South Africa; in 2009 they lost against England followed by a defeat against Australia in 2010. They also played against Bangladesh, a team which is closer to their ranking; but the two-match ODI series ended in draw.
They won against Netherlands but then again found themselves in the losing streaks against Pakistan and England in 2011. In 2014 and 2016 Sri Lanka played against Ireland and both the series were conquered by them.
So this consolatory series taking them nowhere and they are yet to make any sort of statement. For Ireland the right thing to do is to play matches with teams of their standards, for instance, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, before challenging the big guns, that too in one-offs or two matches.