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Sunday, March 6, 2011

ICC CWC LIVE: India vs Ireland ~ Latest ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 Live Updates

It may be a potential mismatch on paper but the Indians would do well to not underestimate the Irish who are riding on a wave of confidence after a spirited win over England.

If the match against Bangladesh was a wake-up call for the Indian bowlers, the England game completely exposed the chinks in the armor. The wicket was obviously loaded in favor of the batsmen, but the lack of intensity remained a matter of concern.

The focus at the net-session on Saturday morning was completely on bowling and fielding under the hawk-eyes of coach Gary Kirsten. It was a welcome relief to see Ashish Nehra bowl with a good rhythm and at a lively pace.

However, there has been no major concern in the batting department. With 2 scores well over 300, the batsmen have little to worry about, except for perhaps complacency. The Indians are expected to make no major changes to their team composition.

The Irish on the other hand have given the game a completely different outlook. Their performance against England on Wednesday even forced the ICC to defer their decision on the format of the 2015 World Cup, which goes to show the kind of respect they have earned.

The batting at the top has looked brittle. Although Ed Joyce looked solid in his brief stay, he is yet to stamp his authority over proceedings. Skipper William Porterfield has also failed to ignite the spark and would look to iron out a few of his technical flaws.

But, the O'Brien brothers, who are currently at the forefront of the Irish cricket history will have the weight of expectation on their shoulders. John Mooney and Alex Cusack who proved to be handy with the bat against England would also bolster the batting.

The bowling however has lacked the variation, with only George Dockrell earning the respect of the opposition so far. It has been unidimensional, and would be a matter of concern for the team management. Given the Indian batting line-up, the onus is on the bowlers to delivery.

Expect a full house and an intriguing atmosphere once again at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Every nerve would be jangling in the Irish camp as it would be the first time they would be playing in front of 40,000 people who would be against them. Perhaps a "nothing to lose and everything to gain approach" may help the Ireland side to give a bit of a panic to the home crowd.

India vs Ireland in ODIs/World Cup

India had defeated Ireland by 9 wickets at Belfast on June 23,2007 - the only game played by the two countries in ODIs.

Overall World Cup record

India have won 33 and lost 25 out of 60 played - winning % 56.77 (NR 1 Tied 1)

Ireland have won 3 and lost seven out of eleven played (Tied 1) - winning % 31.81.

In 2011 - ODIs

India have won 3 and lost 3 out of seven played - winning % 50.00 (NR 1).

Ireland have won 1 and lost 1 out of two played - winning % 50.00 (NR 1).

Approaching milestones

- Sachin Tendulkar (1944) needs 56 runs to become the first batsman to complete 2000 runs in the world cup.

- In case of a hundred, Sachin would become the first batsman to post four world cup hundreds in India. At present, both Mark Waugh and Tendulkar share the record with three centuries at the world cup in India.

- In case of an Indian win, it will be their 50th under Gary Kirsten.

- Harbhajan Singh (248) needs two wickets to complete his 250 wickets in ODIs.

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