World Cup 2011 – Proteas Ready For The Irish Challenge




South Africa Cricket

South Africa Cricket

After two heart stopping and nailbiting matches against England and India, the Proteas will look a bit of a breather when they meet Ireland as the World Cup finally moves to the Eden Gardens. A win here for South Africa will book their spot in the quarterfinals and they would want to cross the hurdle as soon as possible. Ireland have been the best among the Associate nations by a long way and have been unfortunate to emerge on the victorious side only once. Ireland can technically still qualify for the knockout round but that would require a bit of help from the heavens.

If it was the Kevin O’ Brien show against England, Porterfield shone against India while Ed Joyce and Gary Wilson batted well against the Windies. But contributions from the rest of the lineup have been what has been lacking and this is necessary if they want to win matches consistently. Trent Johnston is fit and is expected to return to the squad in place of Andre Botha, who has a stomach bug bothering him. George Dockrell has been the find of the tournament and he will be the major factor that will determine how much the Irish can restrict the Proteas to.

The African batting on the other hand, barring the game against England, has looked formidable with Amla and De Villiers leading the way. Smith is due for a big knock while Kallis hit form against India. However De Villiers is expected to be rested for this game due to a sore back which means Colin Ingram gets a chance to prove his worth. Steyn picked up five wickets against India but he will not be happy with the treatment meted out to him in the early stages of the game. The pitch at Kolkata is expected to have a tinge of green and it will be interesting to see if South Africans decide to give Tsotsobe his first chance in the tournament. Imran Tahir has not yet fully recovered from his finger injury and is expected to be rested for this game as well.

South Africa have won both their encounters against Ireland including a victory in the Super Eight stage during the 2007 Tournament but Ireland have done enough so far for the South Africans to not be complacent when the Greens meet at the Eden Gardens.

Probable Teams:

Ireland: William Porterfield (Captain), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O’ Brien (Wicketkeeper), Gary Wilson, Kevin O’ Brien, Alex Cusack, John Mooney, Trent Johnston, George Dockrell, Boyd Rankin.

South Africa: Graeme Smith (Captain), Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, Colin Ingram, J.P. Duminy, Faf du Pleisse, Morne Van Wyk (Wicketkeeper), Robin Peterson, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel.

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Monish Menon

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Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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