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Cricket World Cup: Ireland's Andrew White's column

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011
Tournament dates: 19 February-2 April Venues: India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh
Coverage: Highlights on BBC TV (see listings), Red Button & BBC Sport website at 2200 GMT every day (UK users only); Live Test Match Special commentary (BBC 5 live sports extra, online, some games also on BBC Radio 4 LW) and live text commentary on England matches and selected others; Live on Sky Sports

Niall O'Brien is dismissed
Niall O'Brien is run out during the five-wicket defeat against India

By Andrew White
Ireland all-rounder

Despite falling to defeat at the hands of India in our third group game of the World Cup in Bangalore, while disappointed, we knew that there were many positives to be taken from it.

Yet again, it was a tremendous occasion to play against a host nation in front of a 45,000 strong crowd, hugely passionate about their cricket and after our victory against England it was always going to be a sell-out.

The few days after the England game were fascinating from the point of view of the interest it generated, not only here, but back home.

The good it has done for local sport, for the next generations of Irish cricketers and hopefully inspiring some children to take up the game at school or at a club, will be worth its weight in gold.

Kevin O'Brien has been trying to keep a low profile after his heroics but in India that is nigh on impossible, especially with pink dye in his hair!

It gave us great confidence going into the India game, however we were conscious of making sure we went through the same processes that led us to the England win, rather than just trying to ride the crest of the wave we had been on. It was a case of starting again.

Kevin O'Brien
O'Brien has been making the headlines since scoring the fastest World Cup ton

We got off to a bad start but William Porterfield and Niall O'Brien showed their class in a century partnership that set us up nicely for a bigger score than our eventual 207 all out.

Unfortunately, we lost wickets at regular intervals including a couple to the new Umpire Decision Review System.

Each team is allowed up to two unsuccessful reviews of umpiring decisions and while it is seen by many as a positive addition to the game, there was room for debate in our changing room afterwards as to certain rulings within the system.

The noise that greeted the appearance of Sachin Tendulkar and Virendar Sehwag onto the playing arena for the Indian innings was simply incredible and their opening boundaries were met by the crowd in a similar vein.

Sachin is without doubt the greatest batsman of his and possibly every other generation. It is his fifth World Cup, testament to a sportsman's desire to continue to perform at the highest level.

Despite a few early boundaries we were delighted with our bowling and fielding performance as we fought to the very end forcing the highly impressive Indian batsmen to take over 45 overs to chase the victory target.

Our fielding has been the one area we knew we could be up there with the best and so far so good. John Mooney has total disregard for his knees and elbows and rarely do you see them without fresh blood glistening in the sunlight. It's all part of the process and the huge pride that he and we as a team have in our fielding.

It was a good week for us in Bangalore, great to see so many familiar faces from back home make the journey, some of whom have continued on with us to Chandigarh for the West Indies game on Friday.

Our path to the quarter-finals will be helped hugely if we can defeat an in-form side who blew Bangladesh aside in only a handful of overs. Hopefully Trent Johnston can win his fitness battle in time because that opening partnership with the 'big fella' Boyd Rankin is beginning to tick nicely.

Chandigarh offers a cooler climate, more akin to a 'scorcher' of a summer's day in Belfast or Dublin but the breeze is welcome and the rural landscape is a far cry from the bustling cities further south.

A win on Friday and the memories of Chandigarh will be cherished even more.

Til next time.

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see also
Ireland's Andrew White's column
05 Mar 11 |  Ireland
Ireland make India toil for win
06 Mar 11 |  Ireland
Brilliant Ireland shock England
02 Mar 11 |  Cricket
World Cup guide: Ireland
14 Feb 11 |  Ireland
Cricket World Cup 2011 squads
19 Jan 11 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2011
09 Mar 11 |  Cricket

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