|Event:||ICC World Twenty20 2009|
DateLine: 8th June 2009
Ireland coach Phil Simmons was in upbeat mood despite the wet and gloomy conditions in Nottingham, which forced Ireland to switch their training session indoors at Trent Bridge.
Ireland face Bangladesh on Monday in the first group game and Simmons accepts that spin will play a vital role. “It’s turned out that way in this form of the game. Bangladesh have some good spinners, but then so do we. We’re still learning how to play this shortened game, but we’ve made good progress in the last few games, and the improvements are there for all to see. I’m happy with our preparations and the intensity shown in training over the past few days. The guys now look like they’ve adapted to the game, and can find the areas and execute the plans that we draw up.
“There’s room for the touch players who can place the ball, as well as the power hitters. I’m glad they haven’t brought in the ropes in this tournament like they did for the IPL to increase the six count. You have to play properly and I’m glad about that because that’s one of the strengths in our game, the running between the wickets.”
What of their opponents Bangladesh, whom he watched lose to India on Saturday night?
“They’re certainly not a bad team. They are always going to get runs, and quickly, when you look at their top order including the skipper. It’s up to us to contain them and the key will be to take early wickets. It’s always going to a hard game because they are so experienced in this type of match.”
What did Simmons feel about having to train indoors over the weekend? “It’s not ideal. I don’t like being indoors going into a major tournament, but what can you do? I’d much rather be outside but we’ll work with what we have.”
Simmons made no secret at his delight in the change in the weather conditions, which will surely suit the Irish much more than the Bangladesh team? “God is good! I’ve been asking for it to get colder and we’ve certainly got that after two weeks of glorious weather. The wickets are covered but there might be a little bit of juice in it to help the bowlers.”
Simmons was guarded when it came to the composition of his team for the opening game, saying, “We’ve a team meeting this afternoon and I’ll give it some thought. It’s going to be hard as there are many different aspects to decide upon, and I’ve got a lot of possible permutations. The top three of Porterfield, Bray and Niall O’Brien take care of themselves, but after that we can mix it up. It’s going to be difficult but it’s good to have plenty of options and players to choose from.”