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Ireland wary of India backlash

Ireland batting sensation Kevin O'Brien warned his team to beware an India World Cup backlash when the two sides meet on Sunday as the quarter-final race hots up.

cricket Updated: Mar 04, 2011 19:25 IST

Ireland batting sensation Kevin O'Brien warned his team to beware an India World Cup backlash when the two sides meet on Sunday as the quarter-final race hots up.

India came under fire for a sloppy bowling and fielding display which allowed England to tie their 338 in Bangalore last week after letting Bangladesh make 283-9 in pursuit of 370 in the tournament opener.

But O'Brien said that the hosts' bowlers will have a point to prove in Sunday's Group B clash at Chinnaswamy Stadium.

"We have seen India's attack so many times. They have a world class performer in Zaheer Khan who is very good with the new ball, and we all know about Harbhajan Singh," said O'Brien, who hammered the fastest ever World Cup century off just 50 balls in Ireland's stunning win over England.

"Munaf Patel, Piyush Chawla and Ashish Nehra are also there."

O'Brien turned 27 on Friday and is determined that India do not ruin his celebrations in a game where victory could unlock the door to the last eight.

"Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag are one of the best opening pairs. They are extremely difficult to bowl to when in full flow. "And with Sehwag, it doesn't matter even if it's the first delivery of Test match. If the ball is there to be hit, he will go for it. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yusuf Pathan are known power-hitters."

It has been a rollercoaster few days for the Dubliner after his pyrotechnics against England saw his team chase down a 328-run victory target, the highest run chase in the history of the event.

With his hair still dyed pink and blond as part of a cancer charity awareness drive, O'Brien has become something of a celebrity, even fielding a phone call from Irish president Mary McAleese.

"I spoke to her (Mary McAleese) for a few minutes. It's always great to get a call from the president (of Ireland)," he said.