Ireland skipper Andy Balbirnie
Ireland skipper Andy Balbirnie

Ireland skipper Andy Balbirnie confident ahead of ODI series against West Indies

ANI | Updated: Jan 03, 2020 10:47 IST

Bridgetown [Barbados], Jan 3 (ANI): Ahead of the ODI series against West Indies, Ireland's newly appointed skipper Andy Balbirnie is confident of the team's preparation.
"Our preparations have been great out here, we've been based at St Catherine's cricket ground and they've produced some good wickets for us to train on. Since we've returned from the [T20 World Cup] Qualifiers we've only had the chance to work indoors back home, but the lads have worked hard over the break and worked even harder since they've got out here to the Caribbean," Balbirnie said in a statement.
"We have a couple of practice games before the first ODI, so we'll be able to fine-tune a few things before we go into the series," he added.

The 29-year-old opening batsman has played 64 ODIs and 37 T20Is, said he is looking forward to leading Ireland, but his main focus would be on the team rather than personal performance.
"To be honest, I'm feeling pretty good about the first game - it will be a different experience for me captaining the side, but one I'm really looking forward to. I've got family out here who are obviously very proud of me captaining the side, but when it comes down to it, it's all about the team and the performance we put in on the field. That's my focus, and I know that is the clear focus of the squad," Balbirnie said.
Last time the two sides met in May 2019, and West Indies chased down a big Irish total at Malahide after Balbirnie had hit a brilliant 135 in the first innings.
Recalling the last match played between two teams Balbirnie said, "I suppose when you get runs but lose the game it's a bit disappointing - it almost feels like you didn't get the runs. But it was an important game for the lads - as a team, we learned that we can score big scores against the top teams."
"It gave us a lot of confidence with the bat, but the takeaway was finding that balance between bowling to restrict runs, and attacking to take wickets. If we can find that balance during this series we'll be very competitive and in a better place as a whole," he added.
The first ODI of the three-match series will be played at Kensington Oval in Barbados on January 7. (ANI)