Ireland steadfast to deal with De Villiers threat
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Ireland will not be altering the way they play to counter the batting threat of South Africa’s AB de Villiers in Tuesday’s Pool B clash in Canberra, skipper William Porterfield said on Monday.
De Villiers confirmed his rich vein of form with a devastating 162 from 66 balls against West Indies on Friday, backing up his record 31-ball century against the same opponents in Johannesburg last month. The South Africa captain might be imagined to be licking his lips at the prospect of facing Ireland’s less lively attack on a Manuka Oval track where Chris Gayle smashed 215 for West Indies last week.
“It’s no fluke what he’s done. He’s done it a couple of times now over the last six to eight weeks,” Porterfield told a news conference in Canberra. “(But) you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or change how you play against one player. He obviously has a special talent, but you’ve been doing something yourself. “Each bowler has got their own skills. They’ve done it over a number of years. They’ve got to back themselves and back the field that’s been set and how well they want to get hit, and if he hits that over their heads or down their throats, then so be it.”
Ireland, who have started their campaign with wins over West Indies and United Arab Emirates, still boast the scorer of the fastest World Cup century in Kevin O’Brien, whose 50-ball ton against England in 2011 set up a famous upset. “Look, if Kev can go out and repeat what he’s done in the past as well then we’ve got that bit of X-factor ourselves,” Porterfield added.”It’s obviously great to see in the world game. That’s what people want to see.”
Porterfield has become something of spokesman for the campaign to prevent the World Cup field being cut from 14 to 10 teams in 2019, so depriving “associate member” nations of their chance to compete alongside the top tier cricketing countries. The Irish skipper welcomed the support of the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni but said the best way for the so-called minnows to press their case was on the field of play.
“There have been a lot of influential people that have come out and spoken from the world of cricket,” he said. “But we’ve got to go out there and plan the performances on the pitch and keep making statements out there, because ultimately that’s what it boils down to.”