Ireland v India, ICC World Twenty20, Trent Bridge

India look to hand Ireland first defeat

Sidharth Monga

June 9, 2009

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Match facts

Wednesday, June 10
Start time 1730 local (1630 GMT)


Rohit Sharma hooks, India v Pakistan, ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match, The Oval, June 3, 2009
Rohit Sharma will open the Indian innings again © Associated Press
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Related Links
Players/Officials: Kevin O'Brien | Niall O'Brien | Pragyan Ojha
Series/Tournaments: ICC World Twenty20
Teams: India | Ireland

Big Picture

India and Ireland have both qualified for the Super Eights and their groups are decided so in terms of progression in this tournament nothing rides on this match. But India won't want to go to the next round with a shock defeat, nor will Ireland want to go without a fight after beating Bangladesh - which, by the way, they didn't consider an upset. At any rate they are yet to lose a Twenty20 international from the five they have played.

India go into the tougher Super Eights group and will look at this game as a chance to iron out any flaws they feel exist. As it is they will probably be the least tested team in the Super Eights, with Bangladesh the third team in the weak Group A. India have been hurt by Virender Sehwag's return home with injury and will need to put that aside immediately.

Form guide

(last five matches, most recent first)
IndiaWLLWL
Their new opening combination of Rohit Sharma and Gautam Gambhir has put on 42 and 140 in the warm-up games, and 59 against Bangladesh. With Sehwag ruled out of the tournament, their success at the top is a big positive.

Ireland WNWWW
Three of those wins for Ireland have come against Associate nations, and the 138 they chased against Bangladesh is their highest score by a long way in Twenty20 internationals.

Watch out for...

Pragyan Ojha, who made an impact with the first ball he bowled in Twenty20 internationals. Bangladesh had been going on well in their chase when MS Dhoni introduced him in the ninth over. He took out Shakib Al Hasan and Junaid Siddique in his first over. But how long can India keep playing two spinners? And when they do go for just one, will Ojha have done enough to cause a Harbhajan Singh v Ojha debate? Problems of plenty? You bet.

Keep an eye out for the O'Brien brothers. The symbolic image of Ireland's chase against Bangladesh could be the ring-side interview of Niall O'Brien, who scored 40 off 25 balls to set Ireland on their way. A mini-collapse later, though, Ireland were facing a nervous final few overs when Niall O'Brien was asked if he thought his team could do it. He said something to the effect of: as long as my brother [Kevin] is there, we will do it. Sure enough Kevin O'Brien brought out the big hits, scoring 39 off 17 and taking Ireland home.

Team news

India have called up Dinesh Karthik, impressive in the IPL, to cover for Sehwag but it's unlikely Karthik will play tomorrow. Staying with injuries, India could choose to rest Zaheer Khan, who was seen nursing his shoulder with an ice pack on Monday and didn't come to Tuesday's nets. If they do rest Zaheer, either Praveen Kumar or RP Singh could take his place.

India: (probable) 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 MS Dhoni (capt/wk), 6 Yusuf Pathan, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Irfan Pathan, 9 Harbhajan Singh, 10 Praveen Kumar/RP Singh/Zaheer Khan, 11 Ishant Sharma

Niall O'Brien's injury is not as bad as it was originally feared, so he could play tomorrow.

Ireland: (probable) 1 William Porterfield (capt), 2 Jeremy Bray, 3 Niall O'Brien (wk), 4 Gary Wilson, 5 John Mooney, 5 Kevin O'Brien, 7 Trent Johnston, 8 Kyle McCallan, 9 Regan West, 10 Alex Cusack, 11 Boyd Rankin.

Pitch and conditions

Trent Bridge has been a high-scoring venue, helping spinners in the initial stages of the tournament. The weather was cloudy on Tuesday, is expected to be same on match day, with rain unlikely.

Stats and Trivia

  • Gambhir's strike-rate since the end of the first World Twenty20 has been 116.15. Before that, though, he struck at 129.71 runs per 100 balls.
  • Ireland are yet to lose a Twenty20 international.

Quotes

"They have won the last game so they will be confident. They will come across and play aggressive cricket. They have nothing to lose because they have also qualified for the next stage. They will be more free, there will be less pressure on them so you can expect some good cricket on the field."
MS Dhoni is not taking Ireland lightly

"They're world champions, so there's no better team to pit yourself against. It will obviously give us a gauge of where we are and where we need to be in this format. There's no real pressure on us. All the pressure is on India."
William Porterfield on how he sees the game

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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