Malahide: Captain Gary Wilson says Ireland are capable of beating India in the two-T20I series starting on Wednesday, having surprised top teams in the past.
He underlined Ireland’s success against Pakistan and England (in 2007 and 2011 ODI World Cups respectively) and said that they will take heart from the past when taking on the Men in Blue.
“They are a very fine T20 side but they have to bat and we have to bowl. If we bowl up to our best, they still have to play that no matter, whether it is Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma or whoever it is in the world,” said Wilson.
“On any day, anyone has the opportunity to beat anyone else and that’s the beauty of sport, the beauty of cricket. We have had some great results against England in Bengaluru and against Pakistan in the Caribbean. So tomorrow we will go in with the belief that we can turn them over,” said Wilson on Tuesday.
While India are coming off a solitary Afghanistan Test, Ireland have been busy playing a T20 tri-series against Scotland and Netherlands. India and Ireland do not have a long cricketing history, with only four internationals played between the two sides.
Wilson made his international debut the last time India played in Ireland 2007. Meanwhile, Wednesday will mark only the second-ever T20I between the two sides, the first played during the 2009 World T20.
“I was out bowled against India, but it was a pretty special day still. It was a decent crowd in Belfast and we have seen India’s traction for big crowds wherever they go. I guess Roger Whelan got Sachin Tendulkar bowled as well. That’s basically what I can remember (from 2007),” he said.
Wilson became Ireland’s T20I captain just prior to that tri-series, and said that he doesn’t want to put out too many plans for the Indian batsmen. Further, he outlined his goal to help bottom-ranked Ireland play in the forthcoming World T20s.
“I don’t like to have too much of a plan before you go out there. In T20 cricket, you should be able to think on your feet and trust gut feeling most of the time. In T20s, you can look very clever or very silly in a short span of time, so you just have to try and stay balance and not worry too much about good or bad days. Obviously, you can have broader plans for opposition and your team, but my thinking is about on your feet. I am enjoying captaincy at the moment, but I would like to answer this question in a year or so. If we can have Ireland qualify for the next World Cup by then, it will be a feather in the cap,” said Wilson.
Wilson promised fearless cricket against India.
“We have discussed with the lads the need to play with freedom and enjoy T20 cricket. We want to go out there, stick our chests out and our chins up, go toe to toe with anyone on their day, and we are playing India, probably the best T20 side in the world. We want to take them on head to head and show what we are about.”
“Obviously, you want to play as much as you can. With the FTP coming out last week, we have 65 T20s over the next four years, which is a lot of international cricket. We have quite a few ODIs too and then we have 13-14 Tests, so we are getting a lot more cricket now and that will be important. If we get more games against high quality opposition, we can improve quicker,” he signed off.