ICC : Bangladesh V Ireland, World T20 Preview
Batting worries persist for Bangladesh despite winning ways with the exception of Tamim Iqbal, Bangladesh’s batting line-up struggled against Netherlands.
The results of the opening games on Wednesday (March 9) leave Group A of the World Twenty20 interestingly poised. Bangladesh got out of jail against Netherlands but Ireland couldn’t do the same against Oman.
It means that the Bangladesh-Ireland clash on Friday at the HPCA stadium in Dharamsala is perhaps the most crucial clash in the group. If Bangladesh win, it would be one more massive step towards sealing a spot for the Super 10s from the group. An Irelandvictory, though, would throw the group wide open.
Bangladesh’s batting is a concern. The entire line-up – with the exception of Tamim Iqbal – struggled against Netherlands and it required some late, tight overs from Mashrafe Mortaza and co to bail them out of trouble in the game. The senior duo of Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim haven’t been in form and will gradually feel the pressure if the poor run continues.
“Not really,” conceded Chandika Hathurusingha, Bangladesh’s coach, when asked if he was happy with the batting. “I would love them to score more runs. There are concerns with some of the senior players. We know they can do better, but the good thing is we are putting up scores that can be competitive. A team is not always going to fire with all six or seven batters. But I hope these batters soon come to the fore and contribute to the team.”
The slowness of the pitch works in Bangladesh’s favour but one factor Bangladesh has to contend with will be the chill and dew given it’s an evening game. Tamim and Mortaza spoke about the difficulties in breathing in this altitude, and things will only be more difficult in the evenings.
Ireland will have to quickly recover from the shock that was the loss to Oman. More than the result, it was the manner in which the game was grabbed from then that would have stunned William Porterfield’s men.
Gary Wilson, Ireland’s vice-captain, conceded that it hasn’t found the right balance in the side. “We haven’t got our combinations right in the last six-seven games,” he said. “We’ve either bowled or batted well in a game but not followed up in the other department. We haven’t done well in all three facets of the game together.”
The result of that is that Ireland find themselves in a must-win situation. Nothing new, according to Wilson. “It’s not the first time our backs have been against the wall,” he said. “We’ve been in bad situations before and come out on top. We’ve got a pretty decent record against Bangladesh. We’re really looking forward to playing this. We’ve got good records in World Cups and have big players that, when they have backs against the wall, more often than not will stand up. You’ll not find us hiding, you’ll not find us giving excuses.”
If Ireland can walk the talk and produce the result, the race that is Group A could be headed for a tight finish.
Ireland: William Porterfield (capt), Andrew Balbirnie, Gary Wilson, George Dockrell, Andy McBrine, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Andrew Poynter, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Max Sorensen, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Craig Young.
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Arafat Sunny, Mahmudullah, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Sabbir Rehman, Abu Hider, Nurul Hasan, Al-Amin Hossain, Nasir Hossain, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Taskin Ahmed, Mohammed Mithun, Mustafizur Rahman.