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India is the focus now: Irish captain

Putting behind their upset victory over England, an upbeat Ireland are bracing for another tough game against, co-hosts India, in the Cricket World Cup at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Sunday.
By HT Correspondent | IANS, Bangalore
UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2011 09:07 PM IST

Putting behind their upset victory over England, an upbeat Ireland are bracing for another tough game - against co-hosts India - in the Cricket World Cup at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Sunday.

"We are aware that playing India in India will be challenging because of the fanatical fan support they have. We have seen it all in Bangladesh (Feb 25) and are getting used to it," a confident Irish skipper Willam Porterfield told reporters here.

Not to be carried away by one win, that too over England, Porterfield said they were approaching the match with the seriousness and preparation it deserved.

"A match against India on their home turf will be a special occasion and we are looking forward to it. We know the kind of pressure both teams will be playing under due to high expectations here and back home," Porterfield said before joining his team for a gruelling practice session.

Noting that each World Cup game was different and had to be played afresh, the Irish skipper said the team had no hangover of their historic win over England (Wednesday) and was quite aware of India's strong batting line-up and the advantage its spinners have on the sub-continent pitches.

"We have put Wednesday behind us to fully concentrate on this game afresh, as we have a formidable opponent in India, which is more familiar with local conditions than us. We have to give our best to maintain the winning momentum we got playing England on the same pitch," Porterfield said.

Asked if the same winning squad would be retained or changes were likely, the Irish skipper said they were exploring the options. All-rounder Andre Botha, who didn’t play in the last match due to groin niggle, was fit and in the reckoning to strengthen their batting and bowling.

"(Alex) Cusack came in his place and Gary Wilson was the extra batsman in the last game. We have got so many options with the ball. Even Kevin O’Brien did not bowl though he is also an outstanding all-rounder. If we have to chase a 300 plus total, as was the case in the last game, we need depth in our batting," Porterfield said.

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