Ireland's cricket coach Heinrich Malan has said that his team will maintain the aggressive mentality they've shown over the past few months, despite a loss against Bangladesh in the first ODI in Sylhet. Though they suffered a 183-run defeat, the team played with an attacking attitude until they lost their way in the middle overs, eventually being bowled out for 155 while chasing Bangladesh's 339.
Ireland, which has achieved mixed results across both limited-overs formats since 2022, having won an away ODI series against West Indies and a home T20I series against Afghanistan, and drawn an ODI series in Zimbabwe and T20I series against South Africa in England along the way, wants to continue to play in a manner that gives them opportunities to beat bigger sides.
Malan Talks About Ireland’s Approach to the Series
Malan stated that Ireland had fought hard over the last 12 months, which had given them the opportunity to beat some of the bigger sides, such as England in the T20 World Cup. He also noted that their latest series against Bangladesh was another significant opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of Ireland's strong team: “We look at this series as one of those opportunities as well: to come here in different conditions against a team that just beat the world champions, and show what we [have] got in the bank.”
Malan Praises Graham Hume’s Performance
Malan commended the right-arm seamer Graham Hume on his career-best 4 for 60 in only his fifth ODI, despite conceding a few runs here and there. Although the seamer dismissed some of Bangladesh’s dangerous players including Shakib Al Hasan, Towhid Hridoy, and Mushfiqur Rahim, Malan felt he could go the extra mile: “We know what we will get from Hume. He is a very consistent performer. He has been around for a long time. It has been a great addition to our bowling stocks. He has put his name up in lights now through his performance. Hopefully, he can keep doing that for us.”
Malan Looks Ahead
Malan recognizes that Ireland has to work on finding ways to get wickets in the middle overs of white-ball matches, which was clearly missed in the first ODI. He said the crucial moments occurred when Bangladesh built their partnership in the middle overs, allowing them to get a foundation to have a successful death period. Malan believes that his team can come up with one or two creative ways to get quality players in the opposition under pressure in the upcoming ODIs against Bangladesh.
Ireland will test their skills in the second ODI of the series against Bangladesh, which will take place at the same venue, bringing their fighting attitude and energy onto the field. Though the weather in Sylhet has been incessantly raining, which could work to Ireland’s advantage, the team understands that Bangladesh has three quality seamers and an accomplished seam attack. Ireland will have to play on what’s in front of them and keep looking forward to facing the challenges that come their way.