There are three matches in the first round of World T20, that would be close encounters according to ICC T20 Ratings, First of which will be played between No.9(Australia) and No.10 (Ireland), then No.2(South Africa) and No.3(Sri Lanka) will play which will be followed by No.5(New Zealand) and No.6 (Pakistan). This match looks like would be the craziest of all, A close match will help ICC Ranking System, one sided affair will be a slap in the face for them, It will not be easy for Australia anyway, their T20 form has been abysmal, that is why they are languishing below Bangladesh in the rankings.
Rankings apart, they look more dependent on Warner and Watson to provide firepower, The middle order has struggled to put runs on the board when the openers have failed which is a major problem area for the runners up in 2009, Captaincy has been tossed around, Bailey has not shown what a normal designated Australian captain shown, He smiles too much for an Aussie skipper, at least when compared to Ponting. Australia possesses the most lethal fast bowling pair in Cummins and Starc, but they will need runs to play with. Bradd Hogg has been called in, and is the lead spinner. Glenn Maxwell will be the only guy, apart from the openers who has shown special T20 skills, he will hope his cross-batted heaves end in the stands and not in the hands. It is that ability that has kept the most prolific t20 batsman David Hussey in the shade. Michael Hussey will also need to be at his best when the going gets tough.
Ireland has more of a settled side more than any other country, their top six can muster runs at a good pace and they also have tall bowlers to exploit the conditions. Their medium pace attack could pull up a surprise or two and if they strike early against Australia, this will be a close encounter. Stirling, Joyce, Porterfield, Wilson and the O’Brians are sounding more familiar. Rankin, Johnston and Affiliate Player of the year Dockrell should bowl well here. Alex Cusack was the bowler who took 4 wickets for them against Sri Lanka.
It will be the first match to be played at Khettarama, which would mean the weather could come in to play, the best either team will be to stay ahead of the opponent at any time so that even if there is a rain, they will come out trumps.
- Ireland and Australia have never played each other in T20 Internationals.
- In 2009, they came close to beating the eventual runners-up Sri Lanka, having reduced SL to 144, they finished 9 runs behind. Six players from that side are in this squad, so much for continuity.
- The only Test team Ireland has beaten in a T20 has been Bangladesh in 2009 event, which will be concern for a side which sets high standards.
- Sri Lanka have never won in Khettarama in a T20 match, New Zealand, India and Pakistan have lost.
- Ireland and Afghanistan were the first countries to play a neutral T20 International in Sri Lanka, in 2010 at the Colombo Oval.
- However, this will be the first neutral tie in Khettarama.
Ireland: WTS Porterfield*,AR Cusack, George Dockrell, DT Johnston, Nigel Jones, Ed Joyce, KJ O'Brien, NJ O'Brien†, WB Rankin, Paul Stirling, Gary Wilson
TOP THREE RUN-GETTERS WITH STRIKE RATES : WTS Porterfield 475 (116.13) GC Wilson 453 (89.40) PR Stirling 389 (122.71)
Australia: SR Watson, DA Warner,MEK Hussey,CL White,GJ Maxwell,GJ Bailey*,DT Christian,MS Wade†,GB Hogg, P Cummins, MA Starc
Might want to play Pattinson for Christian
TOP THREE RUN-GETTERS WITH STRIKE RATES : DA Warner 978 (140.71) DJ Hussey 756 (121.73) SR Watson 731 (147.97)