The Irish side will be competing in the group stages of the T20 World Cup. Ireland is placed in Group A along with Namibia, Netherlands, and Sri Lanka. The top-2 teams from the group qualify for the Super 12 starting from October 23.
Ireland participated in the recently concluded UAE Summer T20 Bash tournament as preparation ahead of the T20 World Cup. They only managed to win only a single game in the competition but they turned the tables around in the warm-up matches. They defeated Papua New Guinea and Bangladesh comprehensively and will be riding with confidence.
One of the full-member sides in the Qualifiers, a lot rests on the experience of their players. They have been a regular member of the ICC events and they will surely bank on that experience in the upcoming T20 World Cup. They will play their first game on October 18th against the Netherlands.
Ahead of their opening game, let’s look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that the Irish side possesses.
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Gareth Delany hits unbeaten 88 as Ireland tune-up for @T20WorldCup with win over Bangladesh.
— Cricket Ireland (@cricketireland) October 14, 2021
Ireland is a batting-heavy side. The top-order consists of some explosive batters in Paul Stirling, Kevin O-Brien who are capable of taking the game away from the opposition in a jiffy. They have a lot of international experience under their belt and it will come in handy in the global event.
The spin department consists of experienced George Dockrell, Simi Singh, and Benjamin White who will play a major role. They have a good amount of experience and it will be crucial in the upcoming ICC event.
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The middle-order is a big concern for the Irish side. The batters haven’t had the best of the times with the bat and it will be up to the opening batters to do most of the scoring. The over-reliance on their opening batters might hurt them in the long run.
The Irish side lacks a finisher in their batting line-up. They don’t have a power-hitter down the order and it might hurt them going ahead in the competition.
— Cricket Ireland (@cricketireland) October 16, 2021
Curtis Campher, the right-handed all-rounder has been impressive since making his international debut. He has been a consistent performer for the Irish side and he will be eager to grab the opportunity of performing at the global stage.
Benjamin White, the canny leg spinner and Joshua Little have been fantastic in recent times and they will be looking to carry their form in the ICC event.
The whole batting line-up is heavily dependent on their openers. The lack of form of the middle-order has been the concern for them in past few games and the opposition can run through the middle-order if they break the opening stand early.
Andrew Balbirnie (c), Harry Tector, Paul Stirling, Gareth Delany, Kevin O’Brien, Simi Singh, Curtis Campher, Neil Rock, Lorcan Tucker, Mark Adair, George Dockrell, Joshua Little, Andy McBrine, Benjamin White, Craig Young
18 October, Monday- Ireland vs Netherlands, Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, 3:30 PM IST
20 October, Wednesday- Ireland vs Sri Lanka, Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, 07:30 PM IST
22 October, Friday- Ireland vs Namibia, Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah, 03:30 PM IST
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Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien, Andrew Balbirnie (c), Gareth Delany, Curtis Campher, Lorcan Tucker (wk), George Dockrell, Mark Adair, Joshua Little, Andy McBrine, Benjamin White
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(Image Courtesy: ICC)