West Indies will head to Nelson with some pressure on their minds, given their disappointing performance in the recent past © Getty Images
West Indies will head to Nelson with some pressure on their minds, given their disappointing performance in the recent past © Getty Images

Nelson: Jason Holder-led West Indies will start their ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 campaign in the Pool B encounter against the giant-killers Ireland at the picturesque Saxton Oval in Nelson on Monday. This will be a day game and the Caribbean boys will start as clear favourites. But considering their recent form, off the field issues, performance in the warm-up games and Ireland’s giant killing nature, the clash might bring out some surprises. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Complete Coverage

Going into this edition of mega event, West Indies had to deal with a lot of cricketing and non-cricketing problems. This has made the whole unit a bit unsettled, which resulted a poor show in South Africa. Thanks to an individual brilliance by Andre Russell, they somehow won a solitary One-Day International (ODI) in the recently concluded five-match series against the Proteas. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: POINTS TABLE

The team failed to impress in the warm-up round of the World Cup either. They suffered a humiliating nine-wicket defeat to England, and narrowly managed to avoid a humiliation against the minnows, Scotland. So clearly the West Indies will go into the Monday’s game under a little bit pressure. In these circumstances, Ireland, which is by far the strongest associate nation for last three-four years, will not be an easy opponent to face.

For the Irish, things are not that complicated. This is their third World Cup on a trot and William Porterfield’s boys are coming into the tournament with momentum on their side. They had a good tri-series in United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently. Though in the warm-up games they lost their first match against Scotland, but the Kevin O’Briens, Ed Joyces and George Dockrells made it up with a clinical display against Bangladesh. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: SCHEDULE & MATCH DETAILS

The main challenge for Ireland in this game will be to control the power packed West Indies batting. If they can restrict the like of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Marlon Samuels then this game will have all the probabilities to go down to the wire.

Squads:

West Indies : Jason Holder (c), Marlon Samuels, Sulieman Benn, Darren Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Nikita Miller, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Jerome Taylor

Ireland: William Porterfield (c), Andy Balbirnie, Peter Chase, Alex Cusack, George Dockrell, Ed Joyce, Andy McBrine, John Mooney, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien (wk), Max Sorensen, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson, Craig Young

Time: 11:00 Local | 03:30 IST | 22:00 GMT

(Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at CricketCountry. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession. Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting, and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)