Andy Balbirnie is “buzzing” to get back in his Test match whites for the first time in nearly four years this week in Dhaka where he will lead out Ireland in a one-off five-day game against Bangladesh.

After playing just three Tests in six years since becoming a Full Member of the International Cricket Council, Ireland will double that tally in the next month with the clash that starts tomorrow (TUES) followed by two games against Sri Lanka in Galle.

“I’ve said many times that Test cricket is the pinnacle of our game. We want the guys to express themselves, embrace the challenge but enjoy it too,” skipper Balbirnie said.

“There’s going to be a lot of learning on the job because we’re potentially going to have guys in the team who haven’t played a first-class game before, and that’s almost unheard of.”

To say the Ireland squad lack experience is an understatement, with up to seven possible Test debutants and only Balbirnie himself, James McCollum, Andy McBrine and Mark Adair surviving from the side that gave England a scare in 2019.

As Paul Stirling has been given time off to prepare himself for a busy white-ball summer, Balbirnie will be the only Ireland player with all four caps, although 32-year-old newcomer PJ Moor played eight Tests for Zimbabwe before swapping allegiance.

“Stirlo had a good sit down with the coach and looked at his schedule going forward, and that’s what they’ve come up with,” Balbirnie said. 

“It’ll be strange not having him out there with me in the slips, but he tells me he’ll be watching every ball from a beach somewhere.”

Moor, who captained Munster Reds last season, will be a solid replacement near the top of the batting order as he becomes the second Ireland dual international after Boyd Rankin, and the 17th in Tests overall.

“PJ has been really good to have around the group, not only his Test experience but he has played a lot of first-class games as well, and the younger batters have been talking to him about that. He’s been quite vocal in meetings too, which is good.”

Balbirnie knows his side will have to play out of their boots to compete with a team who have always been good on spinning pitches at home but have now added a formidable seam bowling attack, coached by South African great Allan Donald.

“I think Bangladesh realised they need to produce cricketers who can do well in all conditions, not just at home, and you’re seeing that with them winning in New Zealand last year. They’ve got an abundance of experience and quality, and it’s going to be very difficult.”

It is hard to see an Ireland attack missing IPL absentee Josh Little taking the 20 wickets needed to win any of the three Tests but a determined effort with the bat - and perhaps a couple of centuries - would be a step in the right direction.