Giantkillers Ireland no longer surprise, says captain
Ireland are out to prove yet again they can mix it with cricket`s top tier nations, with captain William Porterfield saying it should be no surprise if they beat the West Indies on Monday.
Nelson: Ireland are out to prove yet again they can mix it with cricket`s top tier nations, with captain William Porterfield saying it should be no surprise if they beat the West Indies on Monday.
Despite being woefully short of top level competition compared to the Caribbean cricketers, Porterfield believed the pedigree was there to win their opening World Cup match in Nelson.
After being labelled giantkillers for the way they beat Pakistan when they played in the World Cup for the first time in 2007 and stunned England four years later, the Ireland skipper believed the class of 2015 was also capable of an upset.
"There`s not many teams that won`t know much about the 15 lads in our squad," he said on the eve of their Cup opener.
"I don`t think it will be a surprise. We`re preparing for every game and going out there to win that game and I don`t think it will be a surprise."
He also dismissed reports of dissatisfaction within the West Indies ranks after Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard were dropped after the players` strike during their India tour last year and 23-year-old Jason Holder was named captain.
"Whatever happens back there in terms of who gets in their squad I don`t really care to be honest," he said.
"I`m happy enough with our preparations and how we`ve gone about things and which ever 11 takes the field for them then that`s who we`ve got to beat."
But behind the bravado there was no escaping Ireland`s difficulties in preparing for the World Cup compared to the West Indies.
In the past four years, 12th-ranked Ireland have played only nine ODIs against top eight sides while the West Indies, who are ranked eighth, played 21 in the past year alone, including series against South Africa, England and New Zealand.
In the past week both teams have played Scotland in warm-up games with the West Indies winning by three runs while Ireland were beaten by 179.
Porterfield, however, preferred to gloss over the loss and talked up how his side improved to beat Bangladesh even though that game exposed problems in the bowling ranks with 21 wides after they delivered 11 against Scotland.
"We`re building up. Against Bangladesh, as much as we did bowl a few wides we were consistently a lot better throughout the 50 overs.
"Fielding against Scotland we were a bit lethargic there but we freshened up and were good against Bangladesh and somewhere near where we want to be."