Kevin O'Brien is confident Ireland can produce a good showing in Sri Lanka
Ireland all-rounder Kevin O’Brien is hopeful they can maintain their good recent showings in major competitions during the ICC World T20.
The Irish qualified for the second phase of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2007 and the ICC World T20 2009 and also claimed the memorable scalp of England in the last ICC Cricket World Cup when O’Brien struck the fastest century in tournament history.
Recent performances mean O’Brien and his team-mates go into a difficult Group B – in which they play Australia and the West Indies – feeling hopeful of causing another upset.
“Since 2007 we have done well in all ICC events,” said O’Brien. “In the last four we have qualified for the Super Eights twice and narrowly missed out in other instances. From the team’s point of view we can look at this tournament with a lot of confidence.
"We have played West Indies a lot and although we haven’t played Australia a lot, with Craig McDermott (Ireland’s new bowling coach) on board we get some insight from him on what to expect from them. There’s no reason for us to fear anyone in this tournament.”
O’Brien’s 50-ball century against England in Bangalore serves notice of what the 28-year-old can produce. The right-hander is by means not the only Irish batsman capable of playing a match-winning innings, however, as O’Brien notes.
He said “Paul Stirling is a big hitter. So is our captain William Porterfield. Then guys like Ed Joyce, Trent Johnston and Gary Wilson can [also] clear the rope. We have a lot of things going with our batting and our bowling is good as well.”
Ireland play their first warm-up match against a full national side when they take on Zimbabwe in Colombo on Thursday.