India to sort out woes against Ireland
India take on Ireland in a meaningless Group A World Twenty20 match at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.
Meaningless, because Bangladesh, the third team in India's group are already out and India and Ireland are already through to the Super Eight stage.
Like the 50-over World Cup, teams that qualify for the next round don't carry the points forward with them ( a major flaw in tournament rules and a classic indicator of ICC's myopia). Hence, there is very little to gain for the two teams from the contest.
Tell that to the Indian captain though and he will quickly dismiss any such thoughts. "You cannot underestimate any team in this format. Ireland will play aggressive cricket. They have nothing to lose, they have already qualified for the super eight stage. There will be less pressure on them."
Does that mean that there is more pressure on India as there is every chance that an associate nation can upset a full-member country which can lead to a major embarrassment especially for the captain.
"I don't know what to say.When we go out, we want to give our best and perform. It's a dead rubber. Maybe the intensity will be a bit low as compared to the game against Pakistan and Bangladesh. But we want to win this game," Dhoni said.
Winning the game and winning it convincingly will also give the Indian team and Dhoni bragging rights over the rivals, who claim they have in Kevin O'Brien, a hitter on par with India's Yuvraj Singh.
The Indian captain had nothing but a sarcastic smile to offer to that comment. He also called Kevin, a good batsman. "But I won't compare him with Yuvraj Singh. Yuvraj has proved himself over a number of years. He is one of the biggest hitters in the game. He hits sixes quite consistently."
Dhoni himself is quite a big hitter of the cricket ball. And now, he has more bats to choose from and he can use them to send the ball into orbit. "The more bats you have the better it is. It's a back up. But it's good to score more runs than the number of bats you have," he said jokingly.
The new bat, one hopes will help Dhoni to score big on Wednesday. But more importantly, he will want another thorough and professional performance from his team that will enable the Indians to enter the super eights on a high.