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Will the tall Irish pacers cause problems for the Indian batsmen on the New York pitch?

New York: The mood of the Indian fans going into India’s tournament opener against Ireland is one of celebration ahead of the real deal, the so-called landscape changer, between India and Pakistan next Sunday.

The Ireland match may even seem like a warm-up match to many, but there is no reason why India should underestimate Ireland. The Irish enter this tournament after wins against Pakistan and Afghanistan in the T20 format. Add to that the unpredictable pitch at Nassau County International Stadium, and Ireland could be in for a major upset.

If we go by the statistics, India ranks first in the world, while Ireland occupies the eleventh spot. India have emerged victorious in all 7 T20 matches played between the two countries participating in this tournament. have lost just two of a possible fourteen T20Is, while Ireland, in contrast, have lost eight of their last fourteen.

However, the World Cup is known to reduce the differences between the teams. In the last edition, Ireland stunned the West Indies and eventual champions England too, so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if they managed to cause an upset against India.

Head coach Rahul Dravid understands the importance of this match and also knows the price the team can pay if it takes any opposition lightly.

“We are preparing for this match the same way we prepare for Pakistan and Australia. We know they recently defeated Pakistan. We know Ireland play a lot of T20 cricket. In this format, you cannot take anyone lightly,” he said on Monday.

One aspect that may haunt the Indian batsmen is the height of the Irish bowlers. Mark Adair is 6-foot-1, Josh Little is 6-foot-1, Craig Young is 6-foot-1 and Barry McCarthy, Ben White and Curtis Campher are all 6-foot-1. Tall seamers with a fast pace can be a devilish entity if the surface bounces indifferently, as was the case in the match between South Africa and Sri Lanka. Not to mention that the stadium’s slow pitch brings its own challenges.

Sure, the Indian batsmen are aware and experienced, but Ireland will be lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce on any mistake they make.

Ireland captain Paul Stirling called the match against India “the toughest of them all” and Rohit Sharma can repay him with exactly the same compliment. However, the bigger story of the game will be India’s arrival so that they can breathe new life into this World Cup and make it feel like a World Cup.

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