Porterfield issues warning to Tigers
Ireland captain Will Porterfield accepts his side go into their World Cup opener as underdogs, but has warned Bangladesh it will be no walkover.
Porterfield and company have been preparing for their tournament opener in Mirpur for several weeks, having decamped to Dubai for some warm-weather training and practice matches prior to the official warm-ups.
Co-hosts Bangladesh have the significant advantage of playing on home soil and, despite being the lesser lights among Test-playing nations, are well-fancied to defeat Ireland.
But Porterfield is happy with his own side and is confident they can put up a good fight against the Tigers, who are not used to dealing with the expectation of victory.
“Yes, they will be favourites and it will be us as the underdogs but that happens,” the Warwickshire batsman said.
“A lot of people still see Bangladesh as favourites but we’ve been looking forward to getting stuck into this tournament for a while and we’re ready for tomorrow.
“We’ve prepared pretty well, for the last couple of years actually, and especially over the last few months with the work we’ve put in.
“It will be slightly different in these conditions, with Bangladesh at home, with the home crowd. It's a completely different occasion but playing in front of a full house brings a pressure of its own.”
Porterfield has pinpointed electric opener Tamim Iqbal and captain Shakib Al Hasan as the Tigers’ danger men, a point accentuated by their half-centuries in the curtain-raiser against India.
Bangladesh lost that game by 87 runs after Virender Sehwag’s stunning 175, but in making 283 in reply they showed the ability to post big totals.
“Tamim at the top of the order is a dangerous player, he’s a big wicket for any team,” Porterfield said.
“He is someone you want to get early and if you do it that puts some pressure on them because he can take the game away from anybody.
"Then there’s Shakib who bats through the middle and he can be dangerous too. The big wickets will be important for us.”
Shakib and Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons will know about Ireland’s headline performers too - with the likes of Ed Joyce, Paul Stirling and Boyd Rankin all big names at Associate level - and Porterfield accepts his side have to deal with a greater scrutiny than they were subjected to on their World Cup debut in 2007.
He said: “We're getting more exposure and playing more cricket now. In 2007 we really put ourselves on the map and we’ve come on since then.
“People knew not much about our side but we've played a lot of cricket since then and there’s not much in our side people won’t know about. That puts you in a different scenario, a different test and that’s what you want.”