Amit Kumar Das
New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) They might be grouped alongsideIndia, South Africa and England in next month''s World Cup butIreland captain William Porterfield today said his side is nopushovers and would give the heavyweights tough challenge incricket''s biggest spectacle.
"It doesn''t matter who are there in the group because atthe end of the day it is the performance of the day thatmatters. We have a very good side. All the players are capableof playing an important innings," Porterfield told PTI in anexclusive interview from Dubai.
"We bat really deep and we would take it one game at atime. Our''s is a balanced side and we have some good playersand have game changers in George Dockrell and Paul Stirling,"he added.
Beside George and Paul, Ireland will also have formerEngland batsman Ed Joyce in their team, after he was picked inthe 15-man squad at the last minute.
Sussex batsman Joyce played for England in the 2007 WorldCup four years ago and would have a role to play in thequadrennial extravaganza, to be held in India, Sri Lanka andBangladesh.
Poterfield acknowledged Joyce''s experience but saidhe doesn''t want to put pressure on him.
"Joyce is an experienced batsman and would have a rolebut I don''t want to put undue pressure on him by saying thathe would play a huge role in Ireland''s campaign in World Cup,"he said.
Ireland surprised one and all in the last edition,knocking Pakistan out of the league stage and qualifying forthe Super Eights where they beat Bangladesh, and Porterfieldsaid his side would look to do one better this time around.
Asked if they are prepared to exploit the conditions inthe sub-continent, Porterfield said it doesn''t matter and thathis side is equipped to play in any conditions.
"The World Cup is being hosted in the sub-continent andthe conditions would be slow, especially in the secondinnings. But then it won''t be the same in all the place. Itwould differ from venue to venue and we are prepared to playin all conditions," he said.
"We have our plans and we have to stick to them. It wouldbe all about taking responsibilities and hopefully we will dowell," he added.
Ireland are currently one of the associate members of ICCand has ODI and T20 status. Ireland won the ICC World Twenty20Qualifier 2008 and 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier and qualifiedfor 2009 World Twenty20.
They also qualified for the 2011 World Cup by beatingCanada in the finals of the qualifying tournament in SouthAfrica.
Ireland, who had been the best performing associatenation since the last World Cup, has also applied for FullMembership from the International Cricket Council.