Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Preview, Ireland versus Australia, T20 World Cup

Plenty of smack has been talked in the lead up to this T20 World Cup qualifier, but now the talk finishes and the only thing that will matter is the actions that either lead to glory or demise. It promises to be the first taste of tension in the World Cup with both Teams feeling aggrieved by the lack of respect they have been shown and duly determined to gain the respect that victory will insure

So lets try and find that winner

Likely Teams


The Aussies only injury concern is to left arm tweeter Xavier Doherty meaning the ageless 'sheep dog' in Brad Hogg will join Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc as the main bowlers. With the other overs being shared by the glut of all rounders in the Team. One in Glenn Maxwell being preferred to Dave Hussey in the Team

Which will leave the Team like this
Watson, Warner, M Hussey, Bailey ( C ), White, Maxwell, Wade ( wk ), Christian, Starc, Cummins, Hogg


The Irish after a brilliant effort in beating Bangladesh in a warm up game would more than likely carry the same line up. But going to school on Australia's batting and its relative weakness against the swinging ball the inclusion of Tim Murtagh would be a risk worth taking.

That is more than likely not going to happen for I are not an Irish Selector leaving the team like this
Will Porterfield (capt),  Paul Stirling,  Ed Joyce,  Gary Wilson (wk),  Kevin O'Brien,  Trent Johnston,  Nigel Jones,  Niall O'Brien,  George Dockrell,  Boyd Rankin,  Alex Cusack

The Keys To Winning


The biggest issue for Australia in the T20 arena is that there is rarely any continuity in the Team with this form of the game being treated with scant respect with Australia still being a Test stronghold

This means that the team is often a mismatch of individuals rather than being a close knit group of brothers that is so needed in Team sport. So without the camaraderie it becomes very dependant on the performance of individuals to win

Here is no different with the Aussie top 3 in Dave Warner, Shane Watson and M Hussey being crucial for their prospects. If they perform, the confidence it gives the others by taking the heat off them makes the Team potentially devastating. But if you stop them, it puts pressure on the lesser lights of the Team that have not a past record of performing

All of George Bailey, Dan Christian, Matthew Wade and Glenn Maxwell have talent but are unproven as real pedigree in the T20 arena

The batting is a potential weakness, but then the bowling has all the potential to be lethal

If the opening duo of speedsters Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc click they could rip even the best batting line up new corn shoots.

Especially Starc, who has a lovely bit of old style nastiness that T20 batsmen will not like at all!


Hands up if you are and Irish fan and are sick and tired of the Team being described as 'giant killers' or 'capable of pulling off a surprise.' Those condescending lines take away from the fact that in the T20 arena the Irish have earnt the right to sit at the big table of Teams in the game.

They are the antithesis of The Aussies with them being that tight as a drum band of brothers with their strength being their evenness. They all have the capabilities of putting in a star showing, but are the poster child of a working class Team that clocks on every day and works their hearts out

The key for the Irish will be neutralising Australia's strength and then getting into its soft under belly and fully victimising it.

They must see of the massive threat of Cummins and Starc even if it means being a bit discreet at the start of the innings. For if they are 10/3 after their first spell it will make the weaker Aussie bowlers walk taller and be able to perform without pressure. Conversely if they are 20/0 after Starc and Cummins are spelled, those lesser Aussie bowlers will not like bowling with a bit of heat on them.

The key for this will be the old pros in English County Cricket in Will Porterfield and Ed Joyce, who can play those blunting type roles. Which will protect Paul Stirling and then allow him to blitz against the weaker types.

Away from the batting, the Irish bowling is both disciplined and very able.

Rankin as the spearhead must find a way to get ride of the real danger men of Watson and Warner. For if those two are let loose they could easily hit centuries, such is their power and skill in innovation

If the Irish can get through those two you can see them controlling the rest of the Aussie batting, and the skilled spin of George Dockrell morphing to resemble a hot knife through butter


Typing as I sip a Jamesons and listening to The Pogues!

Ireland all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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