Ireland start as favourites against Oman in the World T20 qualifiers at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala, Wednesday. Ireland have found themselves in a tough group, which includes Bangladesh and Netherlands as the other two teams.
There is no room for Ireland to make any errors with only one team progressing from the group to Super 10. Ireland can use this game against Oman to prepare for their next two huge matches against Bangladesh and the Netherlands.
Ireland have some strong players in their team such as captain William Potterfield and other stars such as O'Brien brothers -- Niall and Kevin -- and Paul Stirling among others. These players have the much-needed experience in the international stage.
In Potterfield and Stirling, they have a terrific opening duo at the top as they can play their natural attacking game and help Ireland get a perfect start. The O'Brien brothers can play an important role in the middle order.
Though Ireland might possess such batsmen, their performance with the willow has been below par. They have scored 150 plus only once in their last 11 matches, a record that has to change if Ireland want to qualify for the World T20 Super-10.
Oman are the underdogs for the fight, but the Irish are taking them seriously. They have already done their homework, watching footage of Oman's recent performances.
"We've seen quite a lot of footage on them, how they go about their cricket ... we're going to have to be right on top of it tomorrow, and put them under pressure. They scored quite a few runs in the Asia Cup — I think the only blip they had was against the UAE — and they beat Scotland in their only warm-up," The Irish Times quoted Potterfield as saying.
Oman come into this tournament with some decent practice in the Asia Cup qualifiers. They might have failed to qualify for the Asia Cup, but will be determined to come with a better effort in the World T20.
Batsmen such as Jitender Singh, Adnan Ilyas and Zeeshan Maqsood looked good in the Asia Cup qualifiers and the trio, who are going to hold the key for Oman, need to be on top of their game against a top side like Ireland. Their bowling is not too weak either, with Ajay Lalcheta and Mehran Khan as their main bowlers.
The task might look too uphill for Oman, but a good performance against teams like Ireland will do wonders to their confidence.
Where to Watch Live
Ireland vs Oman World T20 match is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. IST (2.30 a.m. GMT, 9 a.m. ET) start. Live TV coverage of Ireland vs Oman in India and the rest of the subcontinent will be on Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD1, Star Sports 2 and Star Sports HD2. Viewers can also watch all the WT20 action by live streaming online on Hotstar and Starsports.com.
Audience in Bangladesh will also be able to catch the match live on Bangladesh TV.
Viewers in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa can watch the World T20 action live onSuperSport, with the online live stream option SuperSport Live Video.
Willow TV and Willow TV Online are the places to be to watch the WT20 game live in the US and Canada.