|England v Ireland, one-off Test|
|Venue: Lord’s Dates: 24-27 July Time: 11:00 BST|
|Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW, online, tablets, mobiles and BBC Sport app. Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.|
England must “ride the wave” of their World Cup triumph on their return to Test cricket, according to captain Joe Root.
Root’s side meet Ireland in a four-day Test that begins on Wednesday, before their bid to regain the Ashes starts next week.
“We couldn’t be better placed in many ways. There’s a huge amount of confidence off the back of the World Cup. That counts for a lot,” said Root.
“It is something we have to capitalise on going into what is a huge six Test matches.”
England are back at Lord’s little more than a week on from lifting the World Cup for the first time following an incredible final victory over New Zealand.
Five players who were in the World Cup squad – Root, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes – will line up in what will be England’s first Test against Ireland.
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“We knew that after such an emotional final in particular, it was important to get our heads around what was to come,” added Root.
“We addressed it very early and feel very aware of the challenges that are ahead of us.”
Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes have been rested, while Jofra Archer, who is yet to make his Test debut, will return from a break in his native Barbados on Wednesday.
Archer is a doubt for the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston on 1 August, but Root is confident over the fitness of England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker James Anderson, who misses the game against Ireland with a calf problem.
“Jimmy probably would have been able to get through this game,” Root told BBC Sport. “It was important we made sure he was absolutely ready and didn’t go into a five-match series with any sort of niggle.”
In Anderson’s absence, Warwickshire paceman Olly Stone will make his Test debut, while Somerset spinner Jack Leach plays his first home Test as part of a six-man attack.
Opener Roy, a star of the World Cup campaign, also plays his first Test as the latest candidate to try to fill England’s long-standing vacancy at the top of the order.
With Roy partnering Rory Burns and Joe Denly listed to come in next, the combined 11 caps of England’s top three will be their most inexperienced in a Test since 1952.
Roy has played most of his first-class cricket in the middle order, but Root has urged the Surrey man not to curb his natural instincts.
“I want him to be himself out there,” said Root. “He’s a very exciting prospect and a proven performer. He’s fully capable of making big contributions at the top of the order.
“We’ve seen throughout the World Cup there were times when he was able to soak up pressure and trust his defence. It might be that he has to draw that out for longer in Test cricket.
“You also know there will be times he can put pressure back on the opposition and he is one of the best in the world at doing that.”
Ireland will be playing their third Test since making their bow in the longest format of the game last year.
So far they have suffered defeats to Pakistan and Afghanistan, but their journey to cricket’s top table did include a famous defeat of England at the 2011 World Cup.
Earlier this year, they pushed England close in a one-day international prior to the World Cup.
When asked, Ireland captain William Porterfield said his side has what it takes to pull off another shock win over England.
“It’s any game of cricket,” he said. “It’s Test cricket for a reason – it’s tough, but it’s 11 guys against 11 guys, bat against ball.
“You take names and reputations out of it, and take each delivery as it comes.”
Four-day Test cricket was reintroduced by the International Cricket Council in 2017.
As opposed to a schedule of five days of 90 overs, this game will be four of 98, meaning it will be just under two sessions shorter than a regular game.