Ireland captain exudes confidence ahead of game against Zimbabwe despite losing warm-up game against Bangladesh
“We are feeling good, we are confident. We lost the warm-up game against Bangladesh but apart from that we are going well,” he said. “If you think it will all come down to one match you are underestimating other teams in the group. If you are doing that you are putting yourself on the back foot really. It is an important game, every game is.
“If you win this one, you take momentum into the next one. If you put it down as one game, you could come up short.”
Ireland will be facing an unfamiliar opponent in Zimbabwe, but Porterfield said that it wasn’t an issue as his side will be aiming to win every game. “There is always going to be pressure. There are three games; you need to win three to move into the Super 10. That is our aim, that is our objective and that is what we are looking to do. The fact that we haven't played them in a T20 before does not really matter. When you play against each other in international cricket, everyone knows pretty much every one,” he argued.
Having travelled to countries like India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the past, Ireland is relatively familiar with subcontinent conditions, and was something Porterfield pointed out. “It does not seem to be a stereotypical subcontinent pitch (in Sylhet). Maybe I could be wrong, maybe that will not be the case,” said Porterfield. “We have been here before, Zimbabwe have been here before. This is my fourth time to Bangladesh. We have been to India and Sri Lanka as well. We are pretty well travelled and have played a lot in subcontinent conditions.”
Ireland has caused a few upsets in past world events, but Porterfield said that the side has not been as consistent as it would have liked to be. “It is not just about winning one or two games, it is about doing more than that,” he said. “The last few World Cups we have been to, we have beaten sides but not as consistent as we would like. Tomorrow is another great opportunity for us, to try and get a win and set ourselves up for the next game and we will be in a good position to move forward.”
Porterfield reckoned that Ireland has a balanced side, with plenty of players having done well in the past. “We have got George Dockrell, who has done well for us in the last few years, every time in a major tournament and outside that as well. A lot of people will not know about Andy McBrine, he has done really well over the last six weeks, during the tour of the West Indies and down here as well,” he pointed out.
“Then you have got Paul Stirling, who comes at the top of the order and bowls a few overs as well. That is a big plus. We have four-five seam options. That gives good options to the captain and gives good balance to the side.”
When asked what he tells his players ahead of a big game in a big event such as the World T20, Porterfield said, “Obviously the big picture, everyone knows that, you win three games, you go through. I might sound clichéd, but you got to take each game as it comes.
“First one is Zimbabwe that is the first hurdle, the first priority, we have to go out there and win that game. And then we move forward to UAE and then to Holland.
“That is the simplest way of looking at it. We go out and take out tomorrow's game first, and then we regroup, reassess and see where we are at for the UAE game".
Porterfield also saw the event as an opportunity for his team to make a major statement and boost Irish cricket’s image in front of the world. “The intention is not just to qualify but to go on and beat teams in the Super 10. It will mean a lot for Irish cricket,” he said. “With restructuring and everything going on, it will be a big statement for us to make but we cannot look too farther than tomorrow's game”.