Team India started their 81 day long tour with a easy win against Ireland in a rain delayed match.Ireland though new to cricketing world proved their mettle in world cup that made Pakistan exit early and witnessed nasty after events related to Woolmer’s death investigation.Though Team India are the favourites in this ODI but should not be self satisfied keeping in mind the Ireland recent past.But the weakness of Ireland that India could bank is that the Ireland team would miss the services of some key members like their opening batsman Jeremy Bray, middle order batsman Eoin Morgan and bowlers like Boyd Rankin, Dave Langford Smith who did magic in the World Cup
Team India Bowling : Zaheer khan is rested against Ireland due to injury.This series is a test to Indian bowling with relatively new comers Sreesanth,Chawla and RP singh .As expected Sreesanth justified his selection to the bowling attack by rightly using seamer friendly pitch but at the expense of economy rate.He got early breakthrough for India by taking two wickets of Carrol and Joyce.Though India have too many problem with bowling, atleast Agarkar stays in the team for quite a long period compared to others.Agarkar’s experience helped him take the needed wicket of Ireland, Porterfield. Porterfield is one player who shined and made his name in world cup. Chawla’s spell is very impressive considering that this is his only second game and he is successful in restricting Ireland’s middle order.Niall O’Brien’s timely 52 runs and his partnership with captain Johnston made Ireland acheive a decent score of 193.
As forecasted the rain played spoilsport after first half of the match.
Team India Batting : The two talented Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar and Saurav Ganguly who have been in excellent form in Bangladesh series is brought back into this series further strengthening the batting line up.Sadly Tendulkar just faced couple of balls to return to pavilion putting doubts that India will have this easy match in the bag.All the responsibility is shouldered on Gangluy and Gambhir as we very well know that after Dravid and Yuvaraj we have an inexperienced line up like Karthik,Sharma,Agarkar,RP and chawla.
Probably the punishment to sack Ganguly for few matches has yielded results as he has now given the team India the very needed batting lineup confidence.But real test is with South Africa as we do not know if he is good or is it that Ireland just can’t bowl ? The slow batting pace is evident as as we cannot expect both Gambhir and Ganguly would play rash shots at 9/1 scoreboard.Anchoring an inning is important and that’s what these two batsman effectively committed as Ganguly at every opportunity dominated spinners especially left armers.Third fifty was scored in just 51 balls showing that comfort level is surpassed increase the strike rate.
With this win,team India is again in winning mode, but they need to show same commitment in the upcoming critical matches against South Africa.