India captain MS Dhoni hailed Irish master-blaster Kevin O’Brien as “unbelievable”, but hoped there is no repeat of his pyrotechnics when the two sides clash today.
O’Brien smashed the fastest World Cup century off 50 balls, and went on to make 113 off just 63 deliveries as Ireland stunned England for a historic victory.
When asked whether his team had made plans to stop the Irishman in the Group B match, Dhoni said, “As far as strategies are concerned, every day is different and you have to plan accordingly.
“We really enjoyed O’Brien’s innings. Since we were spectators, we enjoyed every hit.”
Dhoni added that India will bank on their batting strength to counter Ireland’s threat.“What is good for the side is everybody is scoring runs and it’s more about a battle for the slots. We are still more inclined to play with seven batsmen,” said Dhoni.
India’s batting clicked in their previous two matches as they scored a massive 370 for four against Bangladesh and 338 against England, with Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar all scoring centuries.
Ireland vow aggressive cricket
Meanwhile, giant-killing Ireland have vowed to play aggressive cricket as they attempt to add the host nation to their list of scalps.
“Our expectations going into this game will be the same and we will go all out. Every game we play, we play to win,” said John Mooney, who took four wickets and scored a crucial 33 not out against England.
“As it was against Bangladesh, it will be the same against India too. It didn’t happen in the first outing, but we went out with the same attitude against England.
“We have our own expectations and we don’t want to put pressure on ourselves.”
Ireland, who lost a close opening match against Bangladesh, have two points from as many games and a win over India would be a major step towards reaching the quarter-finals.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2011.
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