Pool A: India vs Ireland, Hamilton, 10 March 2015 IST at 0630 IST

The Pool A was qualifiers are decided as Bangladesh beat England in a nail biter. So, New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are the quarter finalists. The Pool B is also in a state of bother with Team India the only team to qualify so far. Tomorrow, India will be up against Ireland at Seldon Park. The match will start at 6:30 am I.S.T. Ireland looks pretty good paper with only 1 loss so far against South Africa with 2 games remaining. They are just one point away from a quarter final berth. A tie would also settle the issue for Ireland. However, if the rain gods are not with them, they have to win one match out of the remaining two, against India or against Pakistan. On the other hand, India are the sitting at the top with 4 wins in 4 matches. They are one win away from being the table toppers and by no way they would like to disturb their winning momentum against an associate nation.

Weather Report: The weather in Hamilton looks fine with a maximum temperature of 8 degrees.

Pitch Report: The wicket in Hamilton looks to be a batting paradise with some seam movement early on. With the boundaries just 60 metres in all the sides, the batsmen will look to make the most of it.

Time: 0630 IST

Team guide:

India:

Indian Cricket Team during the warm ups

The biggest surprise of this team came in the form of their bowling. Everyone knows that India is a good batting team but what has shocked everyone is their bowling. Only Pakistan was able to cross the 200 mark against India, rest others including South Africa were all out under 200. That shows the beauty of the bowling line up. The batting has performed as expected with Shikhar Dhawan back in form. Rahane and Raina have played one good innings each and Kohli scoring a century in the first match. MS Dhoni too played his role as a batsman against West Indies under pressure situation. With already made it to the quarter finals, and up against an associate nation, India would like to experiment in their playing 11. Maybe, Stuart Binny could get one more chance or even Ambati Rayudu.

Ireland: 

IReland during their team huddle

Haven’t they surprised everyone in this World Cup? The players in this team play county cricket and the team which has helped Ireland come to the fore in cricket, i.e. England is out of the World Cup, but Ireland is taking their legacy ahead. They have 3 matches out of 4 and have a great chance to qualify for the quarter finals leaving West Indies or Pakistan behind. They outclassed West Indies and two close encounters against UAE and Zimbabwe have got them to 6 points, one point away from a quarter final berth. A defeat by huge margin against South Africa has cost them a huge dip in their NRR, but their objective would be to upset India and Pakistan or either of the two. Their biggest worry is their bowling. It is pretty ordinary with no one bowling 135+ and with the batting line that India has, it shouldn’t be difficult for India to score 350+ or even 400 if batting first. Batting has looked top class. Ed Joyce and Andy Balbirnie have looked as if they are specialist batsman and everyone has contributed to their batting.

Previous World Cup encounters:
2011 WC- India won by 5 wickets

Team news:

Ireland captain William Porterfield has said that they won’t mind big games against India and he is ready for the fight, come what may. He also said that he hates his team being called an associate. On the other hand, Mohit Sharma has said that Ireland are a tough team and have impressed everyone this World Cup and it would be a mistake if India takes them lightly.

India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav.

Ireland: William Porterfield, Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Andrew Balbirnie, Niall O’ Brien, Kevin O’ Brien, Gary Wilson, John Mooney, Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Andy McBrine.

Key players to watch out for:

India:

Rohit Sharma:
Rohit Sharma has looked off colour in this World Cup and with India already making the quarter final cut, the pressure on him would be less and he would like to get some runs under his belt. He is the player to watch out for. Irish bowling is also not that great that the line can trouble Rohit Sharma. It could be Rohit Sharma’s day tomorrow.

Rohit Sharma will need to fire tomorrow

Ireland:

William Porterfield:
The Irish skipper has shown that he has temperament and can bat for hours, but after getting a handful of runs, he gets out playing a rash shot. Ireland captain, Porterfield played a good innings of 75 against India in the 2011 World Cup and he will be the man to watch out for in this match as well.

Key battles to watch out for:

1. Kevin O’ Brien vs. Mohammad Shami:

Kevin O’ Brien is a hard hitter of a cricket ball and he just loves to free his arms and heave the ball over all parts. He just likes to take on pace and fast bowling and his battle against Mohammad Shami will be the one to watch out for. Can Mohammad Shami get the better of the hard hitting Irishman or will Kevin O’ Brien make merry of Shami’s bowling?

Prediction: India securing a comfortable victory

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    Archit Athani
    Writer

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