The Indian men’s cricket team, led by Hardik Pandya, is set to play Ireland in a two-match T20 International series starting Sunday. Ahead of the series, Ireland all-rounder Gareth Delany spoke to NDTV in an exclusive chat and revealed his thoughts about the matches against India, a batter from the team he is excited to bowl to, a bowler he is looking forward to face and more. Asked one Indian batter he was most excited to face, Delany named Suryakumar Yadav.
“It’d be a cool experience to bowl to Suryakumar Yadav. He’s an incredibly talented batter who can play 360 degrees and mix between power and finesse,” Delany said.
India also have a handful of exciting bowlers in the squad for the Ireland series, despite Test stars like Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja not available as they prepare for the rescheduled fifth Test against England.
Delany named the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar as someone he would like to test his skills against.
“Bhuvneshwar Kumar is one of the world’s best new-ball bowlers in T20 and has a very low economy rate for T20 cricket, so it would be a good challenge to go against someone of his caliber,” Delany said.
“It’s an incredibly exciting opportunity to go against the world’s best and start off our international summer of fixtures. It’ll be a very stiff challenge against some of the best players in this format but it’s very exciting all the same,” Delany said about the prospect of facing India.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to put in two strong performances,” he added.
Ireland had missed out on the Super 12 stage of the 2021 T20 World Cup, which Delany said was “incredibly disappointing”, but he remains confident of a better showing in this year’s edition of the seminal competition, which will be held in October-November in Australia.
“Not qualifying for last years T20 World Cup Super 12 stage was an incredibly disappointing experience for us as a squad. We’ve a lot of young guys in our squad at the moment so that experience will stand to us and the fixtures that we have this summer will hopefully benefit us going forward,” he said.
“If we can play to our best then I’d be pretty confident that we’ll progress into the next stage but it’ll be a very difficult and pressurising few games,” Delany added.
Delany said the team has identified areas they can improve upon for a better performance in the 2022 T20 World Cup.
“We’ve all identified areas that we can improve on from that competition (2021 T20 World Cup) to hopefully go one step further later this year in Australia,” he said.
“We’ve a packed summer schedule against some of the best T20 sides in the world so it’ll be a good chance to find out where we are as a team and identify areas we need to work on to be as best prepared for that first game in Australia as possible,” Delany said about Ireland’s preparation for the T20 World Cup.
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