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Ireland eyeing to put words into action

Balbirnie rested; Sterling to lead in T20Is

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 27 March, 2023 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Ireland head coach Heinrich Malan said on Sunday that it is high time they put words into action as they prepare to take on Bangladesh in the first match of the three-match T20I series, scheduled in Chattogram today.

Bangladesh are clear favourites to clinch the series after they have dominated the Irish team in the ODIs following a brilliant performance against world champions England at home where they cleanly swept away the visitors in the three-match T20I series after losing the ODI series by a 2-1 margin.

Malan said that he has full faith in his batting unit to shine as feels failing in three games does not make them any lesser player while adding that now the biggest challenge is to put words into action.

“Any T20 wicket is ideal for batters to come back to run. Those players you’ve mentioned, plus Harry Tector, have shown for Ireland for the last 12-18-24 months. They’ve scored the bulk of the runs. Not scoring in three games doesn’t make them bad players. In fact, it just makes the reality so much more that they’re close to scoring some runs for us again. And again, hopefully, we go out there and put our words into action,” Malan said.

“It’s going to be a great challenge, isn’t it? They’ve shown a couple of weeks ago that they’ve beaten the world champions in this format, but we are really excited about that. I think we’ve shown as well in the World Cup that we can play a brand that is exciting and that people want to watch. And, you know, being tested in these conditions. It’s a nice opportunity for some experience and some young players to figure some stuff out of how we want to play T20 cricket and see that consistently,” he said, adding that they are trying different combinations keeping the T20 World Cup 2024 qualifiers in mind.

“We are looking at different combinations as we’ve done. I think we’ve always said that at the moment we’re working back from trying to put ourselves in the best position to qualify for the 2024 T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the United States. And we’re using these games as a build-up towards the qualifiers, which we know will go to in July in Europe. So yeah, you know, we are working through those options and might see, you know, all kinds of positions in these three games,” he said.

Malan feels in T20Is, things can change drastically like the way the Afghans earned their maiden T20I win over Pakistan recently in the UAE.

“Look, I guess you just have to go back a couple of days and see, you know that Afghanistan beat Pakistan as well. You know, the shorter the format, the more every team is in the game, isn’t it? I guess that’s the exciting part about T20 cricket and, you know, we’ve shown over a period of time that we can play some good T20 cricket,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Cricket Ireland on Sunday announced that their regular captain Andrew Balbirnie will be rested for the T20I series against Bangladesh this week, with Paul Stirling stepping into the role it was confirmed today (Sunday).

Stirling has captained Ireland six times in T20Is in the past and has been vice-captain of Ireland since 2019 while Lorcan Tucker will perform as vice-captain for the series.