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Ireland will go for broke against India, insists Wilson

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

By Ian Callender

Gary Wilson has promised that Ireland will go toe to toe with India today in the first of two Twenty20 internationals in Malahide (4pm).

It is 17th against third in the world, and that gulf could become very apparent if the India batsmen live up to their potential, just one of the reasons why there will be more than 8,000 spectators packed into the north Dublin venue.

Four of the visitors' probable batting line-up are in the world's top 20 batsmen - skipper Virat Kholi, the 2017 Player of the Year, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, as well as Shikhar Dhawan who put on 174 for the first wicket when the teams last met, at the 2015 World Cup finals in New Zealand.

But Wilson, one of seven survivors set to face India again, insists his team are looking forward to the matches - the second game is on Friday - and they will go out and enjoy them.

"Any time you walk on the pitch for Ireland it's a special day," said the skipper (right). "We know what India will bring, they are a special Twenty20 side, but we have to concentrate on our own game.

"We've played some really good Twenty20 cricket over the last couple of weeks even though we didn't get the wins we wanted in (the Tri-Series in) Holland, but there was lots of good learning done and the batters have played particularly well.

"T20 is a great form of the game, you want to stick your chests out, keep your chins up and go toe to toe with whoever you are playing.

"It's India, probably the best T20 side in the world - I don't know who's top of the rankings (it's Pakistan) - but we want to take them on head to head and show what we're all about.

"We are where we are in the rankings, we can't change that, but we can go out and enjoy it and give the lads the opportunity to express themselves. And that's what we want to do this week."

Wilson admits Ireland need to be better with the ball - and India certainly are not the opposition to have a bad day against - but says the result is not a foregone conclusion.

"If we bowl our best ball they still have to play it, whether it's Virat Kholi or Rohit Sharma, and on any given day anyone has the opportunity to beat anyone else, that's the beauty of sport.

"We've had some fantastic results over the years, in Bangalore (against England), in the Caribbean against Pakistan, so we have beaten big sides and we'll go out with the belief that we can turn them over."

India's flight into Dublin yesterday was delayed by 90 minutes and it was leg spinner Yazvendra Chahal, the third best T20 bowler in the world, who took the press conference.

"Our last series was in South Africa, and we're in Ireland and I will play as if it's the same strong team. You can't judge by the name and obviously I'm very excited as this is my first tour to the UK," said Chahal.

"The two games we are playing here before the England games are very important for us as it's the first time we have played in nearly three months."

Ireland: P Stirling, J Shannon, W Porterfield, A Balbirnie, S Singh, G Wilson, K O'Brien, S Thompson, S Poynter, G Dockrell, B Rankin

India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal.

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