Ireland will play their first match against Oman in the T20 World Cup. © Getty Images
Ireland will play their first match against Oman in the T20 World Cup. © Getty Images

Ireland’s national team have named an experienced 15-man squad just ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup 2016. Skilled campaigner William Porterfield will lead the side in the much-awaited tournament. Porterfield has been a part — the rock — of the Ireland side as skipper since 2009, and has played all subsequent editions of ICC World T20. The Irish side is part of Group A and will compete against Netherlands, Oman and Bangladesh. The team that tops the group will go on to to play in the Super-10 of the competition. The tournament will be played in India, and Ireland will be looking to adjust to the conditions as quickly as they can. READ: Ireland vs Oman, Live Score, 4th T20 Match, Group A, ICC T20 World Cup 2016

Porterfield will head Ireland’s top-order in the 20-over competition. He, along with the likes of wicketkeeper Andrew Balbirnie, O’Brien brothers Niall and Kevin will lead the Ireland batting line-up. John Bracewell, Ireland’s coach would be expecting a positive approach from his side when they play on subcontinent surfaces. His team’s batting has become more ‘powerful’ according to them and the players might want to go hard right from the first ball. What might be a worry for Ireland in the tournament is their weakness in losing wickets at regular intervals and often ending in collapses. They will certainly bank on their six-hitting abilities as they have always shown,heading into an ICC event. READ: Niall O’Brien: Ireland looking forward to play India, Pakistan in ICC World T20 2016

Though Ireland have more specialist players in their side, their all-rounders can still chip in with performances both bat and ball. In a side with a blend of both youth and experience, it may come down to how they begin their campaign in the World Cup. Ireland will be up against Oman in their first match of the World Cup’s first round, at Dharamsala. “Qualification and a win in the major tournament, it is more than achievable, we expect ourselves to do it.” is what was Bracewell’s reply when asked of his hopes from his team ahead of the T20 World Cup 2016.

What will add strength to the Ireland squad will be the addition of the Boyd Rankin as a fast bowler. The performance of the Londonderry Express in the InterContinental Cup was evidence of what he can bring to the team. He will be supported by Tim Murtagh and Craig Young. Ireland’s bowling unit would surely have learnt some key lessons from Chaminda Vaas, who joined the team for the training camp as member of coaching staff in Abu Dhabi last month. The Irish pace bowlers will certainly try to make the most of the new ball as the tournament progresses while Andrew McBrine will be looking to exploit the conditions as a spinner. Bowling, might just turn out to be Ireland’s main force.

All in all, Ireland need to kick-off their campaign well and what could follow might just turn out to be a fairy-tale for them.

Ireland 15-man Squad: William Porterfield (c), Andrew Balbirnie, George Dockrell, Andy McBrine, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Andrew Poynter, Stuart Poynter, Boyd Rankin, Max Sorensen, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson, Craig Young