We don't get pace like that too often at home: Balbirnie

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21 Oct 2021 | 02:32 AM
authorcricket.com staff

We don't get pace like that too often at home: Balbirnie

Ireland batters didn't have a great time against Sri Lanka's quick bowlers Chameera and Lahiru Kumara

Ireland batters clearly struggled against Sri Lanka's genuine quick bowlers Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Kumara in their second game of the T20 World Cup in Abu Dhabi and their captain Andy Balbirnie wants his batting unit to quickly adapt to such bowling.

Ireland will have to defeat Namibia in Sharjah if they want to qualify for the Super 12 stage. If they do make it through to the next stage, Ireland will likely be in Group 2, where they will be up against India, Pakistan, New Zealand and Afghanistan. The former three, in particular, have some serious pacers in their arsenals. 

"We don't get wickets like this and we don't get pace like that too often at home. But the more we go up the levels - and if we go well on Friday, looking ahead to next week - it's only going to get quicker. They were quite skiddy, the bowlers. They bowled good short balls. But that's what you expect at the international level and you've got to find ways to cope," said Balbirnie after Ireland's 70-run defeat against Sri Lanka on Wednesday.

"Look, we're perfectly capable of playing that kind of bowling. I'm not saying we're not. We played some of the quickest bowlers in the summer back home - against South Africa - and we did pretty well. It's slightly different out here. It's skiddier than what we're used to. Particularly under lights it skids on.

"But I love that challenge, and a lot of our batters do, to get out there and having the ball zinging past your head - that's the battle we want to be in. We're not going to be able to change that over the course of the week if we do qualify. But we've just got to back our skills and take it head on and not back away from it. That's a mental thing, rather than a technical thing. But we don't want to get too ahead of ourselves. We've got a big game on Friday."

Chasing 172, Ireland were just bundled out for 101 in 18.3 overs. Sri Lanka have already made it to the next stage, while Ireland will be up against Namibia who got the better of Netherlands on Wednesday.

"Our batting just didn't get going at all. We couldn't get any momentum. I scored forty-odd, and it took me quite a few balls, and I certainly found it tricky enough. Sri Lanka are a good team. They deserve to go through. We'll be eyeing up the second spot." 

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Sri Lanka vs IrelandICC World Twenty20, 2021IrelandAndy Balbirnie

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