COLOMBO: Australia will have more at stake than Ireland when they face off in a Group B match today.
Having slipped down the minnows in the rankings, albeit for a single game, and losing the three-match series to Pakistan in the UAE, George Bailey’s men will be keen to set the record straight. Australia coach Mickey Arthur was wary of Ireland and said that the format could be cruel at times.
“I will only rest easy when that game has passed,” admitted Arthur. “That’s not through fear of failure. Ireland have been a giant-killer down the line. Any team in this competition can win if they have a good day.”
The gritty Irish proved their worth when they stunned England at last year’s 50-over World Cup in India, after knocking Pakistan out of the 2007 tournament in the Caribbean.
Australia were handed a huge shock at the first World Twenty20 in 2007, when they were beaten by minnows Zimbabwe. Bangladesh knocked the West Indies out of the same tournament and the Netherlands beat hosts England at the 2009 edition.
Ireland boosted by McDermott tips
Ireland will be boosted by insights from former Australian fast-bowler Craig McDermott, who left his home side earlier this year to join the Irish as their bowling coach.
“Craig has fit in pretty well, working with the bowlers,” said Ireland captain William Porterfield. “He has got a lot of confidence that we can go out there and beat anyone.”
Porterfield added it was important to make a strong start in the competition.
“In a group of three teams, you’ve got to win at least one game, if not two, to go through.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th, 2012.
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