Preview: India vs Ireland – ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 Group A match

India and Ireland begin their T20 World Cup campaign at New York’s mysterious new cricket stadium.

india vs bangladesh t20 world cup warm up
India will play their opening match in New York [Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AP]

Who: India vs Ireland
What: ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 Group A match
When: Wednesday, June 5, 10:30am local time (14:30 GMT)
Where: Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York, US
How: Follow Al Jazeera’s live coverage here.

Nearly six months after the heartbreaking home loss in the ICC Cricket World Cup final to Australia, India begin their ICC T20 World Cup 2024 campaign with almost the same star-studded lineup but in a brand new stadium.

The winners of the inaugural 2007 edition of the T20 World Cup face a strong Ireland side in their opening match in Group A at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York on Wednesday.

India’s captain Rohit Sharma believes it is important that his team move on from the pain of the defeat in the Ahmedabad final, “stay in the present” and not worry about how they are going to end the tournament.

“I think it’s important not to look too far ahead – just think about what we need to do tomorrow,” Rohit said in his pre-match media address on Tuesday.

India are not alien to the new stadium, having played their pretournament warm-up match against Bangladesh at the same venue. India won the match by 60 runs as their pace bowlers took eight wickets. However, their captain insisted the conditions remain “quite unknown”.

“A lot of things are very uncertain in terms of the outfield and the pitch – there is a square of four pitches and I don’t know which wicket we will play on.”

Rohit, who was part of India’s squad in their title-winning campaign in 2007, said the shortest format of the game has evolved in 17 years.

“The average score is a lot more than what it used to be in 2007 and that’s because of the innovation – players trying to do different things at different times and being brave.”

India’s opponents in their opening game have also come a long way since their first outing in the tournament in 2009 and Rohit believes India will have to be at their best to beat them.

“They [Ireland] play a lot of T20 cricket, a lot of their players play around the world in a lot of the leagues, so it’s going to be as competitive a game as we play with any other opposition.”

Ireland’s coach Heinrich Malan wants his team to “play consistently good cricket” and not worry about the magnitude of the occasion or their opponents.

“We have shown over a period that we can play a good brand of cricket, and if we do that well over time, we can beat the top sides.”

Malan hoped New York’s strong Irish community would turn up to support their team despite the chances of the majority of supporters being Indian.

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Pitch and weather conditions

The two matches that have been played in New York have produced contrasting conditions in what is now the most talked-about stadium and pitch. India’s warm-up against Bangladesh was a high-scoring encounter, while South Africa and Sri Lanka played a low-scoring game on Monday.

Rohit said the pitch did not seem to offer great assistance to the batters but hoped his side’s experience would help in tackling the conditions.

“We have got a lot of experienced batters who have played in different conditions outside of India. I hope their experience comes to the fore and [they] apply themselves and use it to their best advantage.”

The weather is forecast to be hot and humid, with a chance of rain in the evening.

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Head-to-head

India enjoy a 7-0 dominance over Ireland in their T20 international meetings.

Form

India played their last T20 international in January, when they beat Afghanistan 3-0 in a home series which was preceded by a 1-1 T20 series result in South Africa and a 4-1 win at home against Australia.

Ireland go into the tournament on the back of three wins in a tri-nation series in the Hague, which followed a close-contest 2-1 home series loss against Pakistan.

India: W W W W L
Ireland: W W W L L

India team news

India may have to alter their pretournament plans of fielding spinner-heavy sides and pick pace-bowling all-rounder Shivam Dube instead of spinner all-rounder Axar Patel.

Squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Hardik Pandya, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.

Ireland team news

Ireland are expected to field the same XI that beat Pakistan in one of their three T20Is, with leg-break bowling all-rounder Gareth Delany set to play a key role.

Squad: Paul Stirling (captain), Mark Adair, Ross Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Graham Hume, Josh Little, Barry McCarthy, Neil Rock, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Craig Young.

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Source: Al Jazeera