Australia v Ireland, World T20 2012, ColomboAustralia Aim to Start as Favorite Against Ireland in World T2018-Sep-2012 14:57:00 GMT
Colombo: Languishing at the bottom half of the ranking table, Australia would like to start their World Twenty20 campaign on a positive note when they take on "giant killers" Ireland in their tournament opener on Wednesday.
Australia has so far failed to tame the shortest format of the game and it will be a test of their character when they face William Porterfield-led Irish side, who are well known to spring a few surprises at the big stage.
Though, they have just one victory to their credit against an ICC Full Member side in the T20, their unpredictability can well be gouged by a thumping win over England in the 50-over World Cup last year at Bangalore.
Ireland's World Cup triumph over Pakistan in 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean is yet another example of their ability to surprise big teams.
The Irish men have won both their warm-up matches in the build up to the championship and interestingly, they were also briefly ahead of Australia on the ranking list earlier this month, something that Kangaroos will be wary of.
Having lost to minnows Zimbabwe in the same championship in 2007 and being bundled out at the group stage in the 2009 edition, Australia will have a tough task at hands on Wednesday.
Australia warmed-up for the campaign with a comprehensive win over New Zealand, but their nine-run loss to defending champions England in their second warm-up match, courtesy to some wayward bowling from their speedsters, would be a cause of worry for skipper George Bailey.
Australia: David Warner, Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell, Michael Hussey, George Bailey (captain), Cameron White, Daniel Christian, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Brad Hogg, Mitchell Starc, Xavier Doherty, Ben Hilfenhaus, David Hussey, Clint McKay.
Ireland: William Porterfield (captain), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Gary Wilson (wk), Kevin O'Brien, Trent Johnston, Nigel Jones, Niall O'Brien (wk), Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Boyd Rankin, Tim Murtagh, Max Sorensen, Stuart Thompson, Andrew White.
Pitch and conditions
The Premadasa Stadium pitch is expected to start dry and get drier as the tournament goes on, so if there is ever going to be any moisture there it may be in game one.
Stats and trivia
- This is Ireland's first meeting with Australia in a T20 match.
- None of Australia's four leading wicket-takers in T20 matches are taking part. Brett Lee and Shaun Tait have retired, while Mitchell Johnson and Dirk Nannes were not selected.
Wednesday September 19, 2012 (day/night)
Start time 1530 local (1000 GMT)