With four consecutive win under its belt, The Indian team under Mahendra Singh Dhoni have the winning momentum going their way. And with place in the quarter- finals now assured, Team India’s next match is against tricky Ireland. Ireland have surprised many in this mega event with wins over Zimbabwe and West Indies. This hence does not in any way make them an easy pushover. It is this no fear attitude that makes them dangerous and India should be wary of the Irish threat.
India will be tested in this tie because it is the first match they will play in New Zealand. And conditions in New Zealand are far different from one in Australia. There is lot of bounce and swing and the grounds unlike Australia are pretty small.
India managed to scrape through against the West Indies thanks to Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s cool and calm approach in the end. The match though gave India something to think. The batting looked vulnerable while chasing and batsmen having trouble with seam and swing- something they need to be aware before the crucial knock-out stage begins i.e the quarter- finals. The bowling was near perfect against West Indies but the fielding was sloppy and quite a few catches went down. The batting form of Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina is a worry. Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has for the first time spoken about Ravindra Jadeja’s indifferent form and it is time that he gets some form back. The Irish encounter will be his last chance to get some form ahead of the quarters.
The defending Champions India would be hoping that in the Ireland game their gameplan falls into place and they come out with a professional performance. As once the knockout begins there is no second chance. Ireland on the other hand , are enjoying their stint in the World Cup . Wins over West Indies and Zimbabwe have made everyone take notice of what they can do – cause an upset. Ireland batsman Niel O’Brien had spoken of playing with a no-fear approach, and before the win against Zimbabwe their captain William Porterfield stated plainly that his team was looking for two points from every game. So , though , India are heavily favoured to win this tie, Ireland is expected to give India a fight. This would make the tie interesting .
India (probable): Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(capt & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav
Ireland arrived in Hamilton from Hobart and practiced in the afternoon at Seddon Park. They hadn’t decided on their XI, but given the small dimensions of the ground and seam-bowling being their weakest suit, they could just pick their most in-form bowlers, which would include Andy McBrine as the second spinner.
Ireland (probable): William Porterfield (capt), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Andy Balbirnie, Kevin O’Brien, Gary Wilson (wk), Niall O’Brien, John Mooney, George Dockrell, Alex Cusack, Andy McBrine