Ireland can cut loose

Players can express themselves against Windies, says McCallan

Last Updated: 19/09/12 3:43pm

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Kevin O'Brien top-scored for Ireland with 35 off 29 balls

Kevin O'Brien top-scored for Ireland with 35 off 29 balls

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Ireland can cut loose against the West Indies on Monday as they have nothing to lose after suffering a seven-wicket defeat to Australia, says Kyle McCallan.

"Australia put them in their place today. Ireland will be very disappointed. We know they are a better team than that."
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Australian Shane Watson dismissed Irish skipper Will Porterfield on his way to figures of 3-26, then followed up with 51 off 30 balls to help his side surpass their victory target of 124 with almost five overs to spare.

McCallan, who played for Ireland in the last ICC World T20, said Ireland have no option but to raise their game for their second group match next week.

"Part of me is sitting here thinking 'I'm disappointed that Ireland have just lost a game of cricket to Australia' and when you take a wee step back, I'm disappointed in terms of the performance," he said.

"I think the boys themselves will be honest to admit that - they haven't acquitted themselves as they would have liked today.

"One thing that Phil Simmons has shown throughout his time as coach is that he's not a panicker.

"I would think that the guys would have a wee look at the performance. I'll be surprised if there is many changes in the side for the West Indies game.

"The West Indies are one of the teams that I think could win it but they are a wee bit like Pakistan in many ways - they are prone to their off days - so if we can raise our performance you just never know.

"We had our chance in India in the last 50-over World Cup where we could have beaten them but we let that slip between our fingers.

"The pressure will be off the guys. They've come into this tournament having won four-out-of-four in the warm up and there was a wee bit of expectation. Maybe with that pressure off their shoulders they'll be able to express themselves."

Disappointed

Former England captain Nasser Hussain felt that Australia - now eighth in the rankings, two spots above Ireland - had adapted better to the wicket in Colombo.

"I guess they were a little bit put out a week or so ago when Ireland popped above them in the rankings and there was a bit of a giggle in world cricket.

"But Australia put them in their place today. Ireland will be very disappointed. We know they are a better team than that.

"Australia thoroughly enjoyed the conditions - the extra pace and bounce [suited them]. Shane Watson set the tone early on and they never looked back from there."

Fellow Sky Sports pundit Ian Harvey felt Australia could take plenty from the victory, particularly given the impressive margin of victory.

"Australia will be very happy to get away unscathed there; it was very professional, they handled themselves well.

"George Bailey mixed up his bowlers really well and then Watson and Warner gave them a good start with the bat. It was nice for Cameron White to spend some time in the middle because I think he's been under a little bit of pressure."

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