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Ireland hope to spring surprise as India begin their campaign
Ireland hope to spring surprise as India begin their campaign

Upon arrival at the Nassau County Cricket Stadium in Long Island on Thursday morning, the Indian squad will be welcomed by banners displaying the Twenty20 World Cup, in addition to the stadium’s signage. The Indian team may perceive these as foreboding indications emanating from beneath the banners: “Warning: Perilous circumstances lie ahead.”

After the pitch altercation during Tuesday’s match between South Africa and Sri Lanka, the matches of this World Cup, particularly those in the New York leg, have quickly become characterized by unpredictability. From the perspective of the Indian team, this experience may be likened as venturing into uncharted territory, resembling a game of chance with high stakes rather than a typical cricket match. South Africa will attest to this.

Although Ireland may not provide a significant challenge to India on paper, the unpredictability of the pitch conditions has introduced a new element to the competition. It negates the experience and the strengths of the Indian team. Although the squad managed by Paul Stirling has achieved recent victories against Pakistan and emerged triumphant against eventual champions England in the past World Cup, they have never been able to defeat the Indian side in their seven encounters. Indians have shown to be an indomitable force for them. However, the contest is unlikely to be simple or uncomplicated, unless the drop-in pitch, which was prepared in Florida with imported expertise from South Australia, performs accurately. Ireland, meanwhile, would anticipate that it does not.

India is concerned about the volatility of the surface, while the Irish side is worried about their lack of familiarity with it. Despite having practice facilities located elsewhere on Long Island, the Irish have not yet formally entered the Nassau County Stadium. “We have not yet observed the ground, and it appears unlikely that we will have the opportunity to do so before the game,” stated captain Paul Stirling to Cricket Europe.

Rahul Dravid refrained from revealing the extensively discussed opening partnership of the team, although it is highly probable that it will consist of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, with subsequent batsmen being left-right handed depending on the circumstances. Initially, India had intended to include two left-arm spinners, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel, in addition to wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav. Nevertheless, following the events of Tuesday’s game, they might choose to include one additional fast bowler instead of another spin bowler. As a result, both Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh will be included in the lineup, while Axar Patel may have to wait for his opportunity. As is customary in the Indian squad structure, which Dravid himself acknowledges, there is one position that is still being discussed – and it may be either Yashasvi Jaiswal or Shivam Dube. Dube is the more probable choice, since he enhances the bowling assault with his added depth.

Ireland is renowned for their audacious style of cricket, however, the Indian team is well-acquainted with such strategies, as they have recently concluded a fiercely competitive and daring two-month-long Indian Premier League (IPL). The fight is unlikely to witness scores over 200, as shown in IPL matches. A total of 170-180 could be sufficient to win, unless the wicket behaves unexpectedly.

The match between India and Ireland will take place on June 05 at 10:30pm local time and 8 PM Indian Standard Time (IST).

Location: Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York

Anticipated outcomes: The subject of who will win the match between India and Ireland is uncertain, as both captains, Rohit Sharma and Paul Sterling, are unaware of the outcome. This uncertainty arises from the unexpected events that occurred in the Sri Lanka and South Africa game. Both teams and spectators would anticipate that the drop-in pitch does not exhibit the same problematic behavior that led to Sri Lanka’s six-wicket defeat. Disregarding the uncertainty of the pitch, India is expected to easily win this battle. One aspect of anticipation is the question of who will partner with Rohit to open for India – Virat Kohli or Yashasvi Jaiswal?

India has won all seven matches against Ireland in a head-to-head competition. The sole prior encounter in T20 World Cups occurred in 2009 at Trent Bridge, with India emerging victorious by a margin of eight wickets. Rohit Sharma is the only person who survived from that game.

Observation Group

India: Rahul Dravid maintained a secretive stance, expressing his intention to keep the element of surprise till the game begins. The selection conundrum lies in deciding between Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh as the second fast bowler alongside Jasprit Bumrah, while the opening tandem remains uncertain. Hardik Pandya is anticipated to fulfill the role of the third fast bowler and provide an additional bowling option as the sixth player. In addition, it is probable that both left-arm spinners, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel, would be included, along with Kuldeep Yadav.

The expected starting lineup consists of Rohit Sharma as the captain, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Suryakumar Yadav, Shivam Dube, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, and Arshdeep Singh.

Ireland’s coach, Heinrich Malan, aims to instill in his players the conviction that they are capable of defeating India. The Irish have a reputation for unexpectedly defeating stronger opponents, as they shown in the previous Twenty20 World Cup held in Australia in 2022, where they emerged victorious against the eventual champions, England. India must be cautious of their capacity to astonish formidable adversaries, considering their recent victory over Pakistan less than a month ago. Lorcan Tucker, the wicketkeeper, is a highly formidable player.

Possible starting lineup: Andy Balbirnie, Paul Stirling (captain), Lorcan Tucker, Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Gareth Delany, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Craig Young or Ben White, Josh Little

Were you aware?

– India have participated in 28 T20 International matches since the previous T20 World Cup. The four experienced players – Rohit Sharma (3 matches), Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, and Jasprit Bumrah (2 matches apiece) – have been mostly absent from these competitions.

– Virat Kohli has an average of 81.50 in T20 World Cups, with a strike rate of 131.30. During run-chases, his average increases to 270.50.

Their statement

“In a team’s starting lineup and during a T20 match, there will always be one or two positions where you may occasionally make a substitution.” Typically, we have reached a firm decision in our minds, although I have not publicly disclosed or articulated it. Rahul Dravid remarked that the team has a clear understanding of the route they are heading in. They have selected a squad that provides flexibility to make a few adjustments based on the conditions.

“We will make the decision on the morning of the match, as we have not yet had the opportunity to see the ground.” I believe it is necessary to delay any further action about this matter, but if we are being truthful, we are most likely left with a total of 12 or 13 options. However, we will not make the ultimate decision without first assessing the resources available to us. Paul Stirling’s thoughts on the Ireland XI

Ireland announce central contracts for 2024-25
Ireland announce central contracts for 2024-25

Cricket Ireland has expanded its list of key contracts for the year 2024-25, including Ross Adair, Matt Foster, Fionn Hand, PJ Moor, and Ben White. This year, the number of contracts offered has increased from 14 to 21. Simi Singh, the 37-year old spinner, who last competed in an international match in October 2022, has been excluded off the roster of contracted players.

Cricket Ireland has just provided 12 full-time contracts to its women cricketers, marking the first time this has been done. Christina Coulter Reilly, Abbi Harrison, Kia McCartney, and Alice Tector have been awarded Casual Contracts, whereas Una Raymond-Hoey has been granted a retainer contract.

Gavin Hoey, Matthew Humphreys, Tom Mayes, and Liam McCarthy have been awarded Retainer Contracts in the Men’s Division.

Casual Contracts provide players with a fixed payment during the summer holidays, compensation for lost earnings for the rest of the year, fees for participating in matches, a 12-month medical and healthcare insurance, support in sports science (including physiotherapy, strength and conditioning, psychology, performance analysis, nutrition, and lifestyle management), specialized coaching assistance, and, for players from the Republic of Ireland, complete access to the Sport Ireland Institute. Conversely, Retainer Contracts involve players for a designated duration of time or special events, offering benefits comparable to casual contracts.

In addition, Educational Contracts have been awarded to six female players: Ava Canning, Georgina Dempsey, Sarah Forbes, Amy Hunter, Joanna Loughran, and Aimee Maguire. These are specifically designed to accommodate athletes who are enrolled in full-time schooling or pursuing further education at a postsecondary level. Players under these contracts receive a substantial stipend to guarantee they are not required to seek employment throughout their educational years, allowing them to focus only on their cricket. All of these players will be accessible on a full-time basis during the summer vacation period.

Ciara O’Brien, the Women’s National Selector, expressed her satisfaction with the newest contract list, stating that the number of full-time contracts has reached a record high of 12 this year, which is a testament to the ongoing success of women’s cricket.

“Our team consists of a group of young players who possess exceptional talent. Despite their average age being slightly above 21, these players have gained a significant amount of experience in recent years.”

“This year, we are pleased to announce that Una Raymond-Hoey will be rejoining the Irish team on a retainer basis.” Una, who has earned 15 caps for the Ireland national team, has spent the past five years in Australia. During this time, she has been actively involved in cricket, making progress in representing Victoria and being a member of the Melbourne Stars side in the Women’s Big Bash.

Additionally, Andrew White, the Men’s National Selector, stated, “With the expansion of our talent pool, the task of choosing central contracts becomes increasingly challenging. As the amount of cricket matches played at home and abroad continues to grow, it is crucial for us to cultivate and enhance the skills of our players to be able to compete at the highest level. Choosing the appropriate combination of players to receive central contracts is one of the most significant decisions we can make as an organization. We consider our players to be valuable assets, and we consistently monitor, evaluate, and discuss their progress and performances. This is done to ensure that the head coach and captain have access to the most talented individuals.

“We are pleased with the recent announcement of Heinrich Malan’s contract extension. I am excited to continue collaborating with him in determining the future direction and succession planning of the team in the upcoming years.”

“I extend my congratulations to the players who have been awarded contracts in 2024. I am eager to witness the consistent progress and growth that has been observed over the past few years translate into consistent achievements on the field.”