After four back to back wins in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, the Men In Blue must be buoyant ahead of the India vs Ireland fixture at Hamilton tomorrow. A win here shall seal India’s position at the top of the Pool B rankings. Ireland will be hoping to create an upset in order to keep their hopes of a Quarter Final berth alive.
India looking to make it 5 out of 5
It’s their fifth game of this World Cup and India will be looking to consolidate on the good work done so far. The bowlers, after a prolonged spell of inconsistent performances abroad, have peaked at the right time, and the batsmen have complemented them well.
India’s impressive record in the World Cup so far, however, should not prevent us from taking a close look at some of the weaker areas.
The opening combination of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma has failed to fire in all the four matches. Even though Dhawan had made amends for Rohit’s early dismissal in the first two matches, he failed to get a big score against West Indies and UAE. The highest opening partnership that Dhawan and Rohit have managed so far, amounts to only 34, and this definitely is a cause of worry for the team.
MS Dhoni sprang back to his usual consistent self against West Indies at Perth – a fact that shall relieve fans who were worried about his viability as a finisher in the team. However Ravindra Jadeja has not been able to make much out of the opportunities with the bat so far. One can be hopeful of Jadeja scoring a few useful runs tomorrow, if given a chance.
The Indian bowling need not be elaborately introduced at this stage of the tournament. Shami, Umesh and Mohit have been brilliant in turning around India’s overseas fortunes in the all important World Cup. Legendary Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar recently expressed satisfaction at the drastic improvements made by Mohammed Shami in this tournament. Akhtar is of the opinion that Shami can be the one bowler whom India can rely on, even during tough passages of play. As per Shami, bowling tips from Akhtar have helped rejuvenate his bowling.
Ireland hope to stay afloat in race to Quarter Finals
Courtesy a below par net run rate, Ireland are still struggling to seal a spot in the Quarter Finals, even after comprehensively beating West Indies a couple of weeks ago. The Irish have been put under the pump by other teams because of their weak pace bowling department, and they can expect India to do the same.
However, the Irish batsmen have given the team much cause for happiness in the World Cup. William Porterfield, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien and Paul Sterling have been pivotal to Ireland’s success so far. It was because of the strong batting line up that Ireland were able to chase down a 300 plus total against West Indies and also put up a mammoth 331 against Zimbabwe.
And it is on this aspect that Ireland can hope to cash in tomorrow. The size of the ground in Hamilton is in favor of batsmen as even mis-hits here can go for sixes! The batsmen can take advantage of this, and score a few additional runs to provide the bowlers with some cushion against the famed Indian batsmen. However, they can be sure that Virat Kohli and Co. shall reciprocate in a similar fashion with the bat.
Hamilton has produced a number of run fests in the past. The Pool B game between South Africa and Zimbabwe, played here recently, was a high scoring one. However, given the kind of momentum generated by Indian bowlers, the Irish shall have to play out of their skins to create another upset.
Match facts – India vs Ireland
Venue – Hamilton
Start Time – 14:00 local, 06:30 IST