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World Cup 2011: India ready to take on Ireland

first_imgIndian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s passion for motor vehicles, especially SUVs and bikes, is well known. And on Saturday, he used his favourite automobile jargon to inform that all his soldiers were ready for Sunday’s battle against Ireland in their another World Cup match.Dhoni said all 15 players, including pacer Ashish Nehra who has been struggling with his fitness so far, were raring to go against a team that has suddenly become the talk of the town after stunning England on Wednesday and is now high on confidence and morale.”We have done the servicing and overhauling of all the ‘cars’ (read players), basically for the race. And if at night there’s no electrical failure then everybody will be available. We will pick the best XI ‘cars’,” Dhoni told reporters after a practice stint at the National Cricket Academy in M Chinnaswamy Stadium.Although Nehra bowled at the nets on Saturday, he came on at the fag end of the team’s two-hour stint, forcing some people to wonder whether he was indeed match fit. When pointedly asked about the Delhi leftarmer’s fitness, Dhoni avoided a direct reply and took refuge in the automobile terminology.India are currently placed third with three points in the seven-team Group B, behind South Africa (four points from two games) and West Indies (four from three), and they need to beat the supposedly minnows Ireland to take a big step towards the quarter-final berth.After Ireland’s win over England, one of the biggest upsets of all time in ODI cricket, all opponents have become wary of Ireland.One more upset win from Ireland and they would be strengthening their case for a spot in the quarterfinals. They will play with a nothing-to-lose-and-everything-togain attitude and that could make them a dangerous opposition.advertisementBut Potterfield said his team would not rest on its past laurels as the second half of the league phase begins with this game (21st of the 42 league matches).Dhoni and his boys too will be on their toes in the day-night affair. India’s fans can take heart from the team’s strong batting display in both their previous matches – against Bangladesh and England.Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar are in great form and the others would be hoping that it rubs off on them too.The bowlers, however, have not been up to the mark. Fielding and catching too needs quick and big improvement to face stronger challenges ahead.England tying the game chasing 339 for a win proves that the bowlers have so far struggled to get all 10 wickets.India and Ireland have played only one ODI so far and Rahul Dravid’s team won that rain-interrupted game by nine wickets via Duckworth-Lewis method in Belfast in 2007.Interestingly, only two players from the 2007 squad, Piyush Chawla and Gautam Gambhir – was batting on 80 as rains intervened – are still part of the present team.On Sunday, however, a new chapter will be written.last_img

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