Mickey Arthur asks Aussies to guard against Ireland

Australia would like to start their World T20 campaign on a positive note when they take on “giant killers” Ireland in their tournament opener here today. Australia has so far failed to tame the shortest format of the game and it will be a test of their character when they face William Porterfield-led Irish side, who are well known to spring a few surprises at the big stage.

Michael Hussey
Australia’s Michael Hussey during a training session in Colombo yesterday. PIC/AFP

“I will only rest easy when that game has passed,” admitted Australian coach Mickey Arthur. “That’s not through fear of failure. Ireland have been a giant-killer down the line. Any team in this competition can win if they have a good day.” The gritty Irish proved their worth when they stunned England at last year’s 50-over World Cup in India, after knocking Pakistan out of the 2007 tournament in the Caribbean.

Australia coach Mickey Arthur
Australia coach Mickey Arthur

Australia were handed a huge shock at the first World Twenty20 in 2007, when they were beaten by minnows Zimbabwe. Bangladesh knocked the West Indies out of the same tournament and the Netherlands beat hosts England at the 2009 edition. Meanwhile, Ireland will be boosted by insights from former Australian fast bowler Craig McDermott, who left his home side earlier this year to join the Irish as their bowling coach.

“Craig has fit in pretty well, working with the bowlers,” said Ireland captain Porterfield. “He has got a lot of confidence that we can go out there and beat anyone.” Porterfield added it was important to make a strong start in the competition. “In a group of three teams, you’ve got to win at least one game, if not two, to go through.” 

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