The Ireland captain believes the team progressing through the first round will have an edge
However, he said Ireland would go in to the tournament with confidence, irrespective of who the “favourites” were. "It doesn't bother me who the favourites are," he said. "We've been in tournaments where we've started as favourites and others where we haven't. If we are underdogs that doesn't bother me. Anyone can beat anyone. ‘Favourites’ tags don't mean much."
Ireland, grouped with Zimbabwe, UAE and Netherlands, is expected to face a tough clash against Zimbabwe in the first round – a team it had never met before in T20Is.
Porterfield admitted that the team progressing through the first round would hold an advantage, in that it would have momentum and match practice. He said: "Who goes through can potentially hold an advantage, you'll probably have to win three games to go through so you'll have some momentum and know you are playing good cricket."
He also highlighted the role of left-arm spinner George Dockrell who has quickly developed into the lead spinner of Ireland’s attack in the absence of the retired Trent Johnston and the ailing John Mooney.
"He [Dockrell] has done really well for us over the last few years and we'll be looking for him to put his hand up during this tournament," said Porterfield. "In previous tournaments, he has done well so hopefully he can carry that form on here. Paul Stirling can bowl his offies as well and when you can get overs from your top order, it gives you a great balance, which I think we have."
Ireland, in its tour of the Caribbean, secured a six-wicket victory in the first T20 against West Indies to draw the two-match series 1-1, and while that was its only victory of the tour, it helped the players spend quality time with each other. "We have often played our better cricket when we have been together a while," said Porterfield. "We've been to West Indies, Dubai and now here and it's all been about building up to March 17."