World Twenty20 team preview: Ireland

Reports & previews

Their record against smaller nations is impressive, though Zimbabwe could give them a strong challenge as they're similar in strength, while Ireland will be confident of wins against the UAE and the Netherlands.

<b>Captain:</b> William Porterfield<br><b>Coach:</b> Phil Simmons<br><b>WT20 Best:</b> Super Eights exit, 2009

<b>Overview</b><br>Ireland are probably the strongest of the non-Test playing sides, and should reach the group stages, given their form this year. They even have a win against the West Indies under their belt, and nearly had two.

They're a side filled with County regulars, and names who have played for Ireland for years, including the explosive O'Brien brothers, skipper William Porterfield and two-country veteran Ed Joyce. Thus, a strong batting line up.

Their record against smaller nations is impressive, though Zimbabwe could give them a strong challenge as they're similar in strength, while Ireland will be confident of wins against the UAE and the Netherlands.

<b>Key Batsman</b><br>Batsman Ed Joyce is a rare specimen in that he has an ODI century for two countries (the other being England). He has nearly 20 years of first class experience, and averages nearly 35 in the format. He's not a smasher live Kevin O'Brien, but can be the steady platform builder required against bigger sides.

<b>Key Bowler</b><br>Spinner George Dockrell will be key in Bangladesh, both in terms of wickets and economy. In the side since age 18, the 21-year-old averages under 16 in T20 with the ball, which is impressive for any side, and has an economy rate under six.

<b>Likely Benchwarmer</b><br>Batsman James Shannon isn't likely to see more than one game, if that. He's got four whole first class games to his name, and just one T20, where he scored two runs. The batting line up is solid enough without him.

<b>Cricket365's Prediction</b><br>They'll make it to the proper group stage, but not further than that, despite a probable scare/thrilling ending.

<b>They Said:</b> "George Dockrell has done really well for us over the last few years and we'll be looking for him to put his hand up during this tournament. In previous tournaments he has done well so hopefully he can carry that form on here. Paul Stirling can bowl his offies as well and when you can get overs from your top order it gives you a great balance, which I think we have." – captain <b>William Porterfield</b>

<b>Squad:</b> William Porterfield, Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Andy McBrine, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, Andrew Poynter, Max Sorensen, James Shannon, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson, Craig Young.

<b>Fixtures</b><br>17 March: v Zimabwe, Sylhet<br>19 March: v United Arab Emirates, Sylhet<br>21 March: v Netherlands, Sylhet

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