T20 WC: Ireland coach ready to stun Team India

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 03, 2024 IST

Ireland Coach

New York, June 3: It's not exactly the June 9 Indo-Pak battle in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 that is going to be a real challenge for Rohit Sharma and Co. 

Even the Ireland match on Wednesday can be a real test for the star-studded subcontinent cricket powerhouse.

Well, cricket experts, former players and Indian supporters may not agree. But Twenty20 cricket can be a surprise at times and Ireland are no minnows anymore. 

Perhaps realising that, Ireland head coach Heinrich Malan had timed his mind game against title favourites India and warned them of a serious contest on June 5. 

Malan said his team has the belief that it can get the better of a star-studded Indian team in their T20 World Cup opening Group A game on Wednesday at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York. 

"When you look at T20 cricket you need maybe one or two players to have a special time out and you can take down any team in the world down. India are obviously coming fresh off the IPL and I see they’ve rested a couple of guys in their warm-up stuff."

"(But) T20 cricket has shown up over a fair period of time that if you play a certain way and you have the right intent and players come to the party on the day, that all teams that are going to compete at this competition are equally matched," said Malan to BBC.

Ireland enters the tournament after beating Pakistan in the opening match of the T20I series in Dublin, though they couldn’t win the next two games. Ireland, though, won a tri-series in the Netherlands featuring the Dutch and Scotland.

Malan said skipper Paul Stirling is the ideal person to take Ireland forward in their journey as a white-ball side. "The experience, the calmness that Stirlo brings from being on the road so much over the last five years and his ability to keep things really simple and have a real consistency in the way that he communicates (is his great attribute). He is very precise."

With Indian supporters set to come to the stadium in large numbers, Malan said he is hopeful of Irish diaspora in the USA to throng the venue and cheer for Stirling & Co. "We need everyone there to be honest. It doesn’t matter where you play India."

"We’ve played them at home over the last couple of years and they get people behind them. It will be nice to get some Irish supporters out there and I’m sure we will. Hopefully, we can play some good cricket over the week that we’re there and catch up with them for a beer afterwards," he concluded.

If by chance, Ireland coach Malan's words come true, then it may be a real shock for Team India. Because four days after playing Ireland, India would take on arch rivals Pakistan on June 9, which  would be a high octane test for Rohit's boys. 

But if India can overcome Irish challenge with ease, then they are likely to enjoy a much needed moral boost before the crunch game against Pakistan. (With IANS support)

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