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We had to change our game plan a couple of times, but it didn’t work out: Malan | ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, 2024

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We had to change our game plan a couple of times, but it didn’t work out: Malan

The challenging nature of the deck crippled the Irish team from the word go – and it was a miracle that they managed to get to even 96 runs

Ireland were comfortably brushed aside by an inspired Indian pace attack that meant business in New York on June 5 (Wednesday). It also didn’t work in their favour that the wicket at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York was as unpredictable as it could have – with balls staying low and shooting up at an equal measure. 

The challenging nature of the deck crippled the Irish team from the word go – and it was a miracle that they managed to get to even 96 runs. Ireland coach Heinrich Malan admitted that it was pretty challenging out there, while applauding the Indian pace attack.

“If you look at the way they bowled up front, it was obviously pretty challenging. We had to change our game plan a couple of times and unfortunately it just didn’t go the way we wanted it to work out today,” Malan said at the post-match press conference.

“Mike Tyson said any game plan change, you get punched in the face, and I think there was some serious bowling out there. I think they’ve got three or four serious quick bowlers which we’ve seen over a period of time who can perform at this level and look, we communicated well. But it’s one thing talking about it and another thing executing it under pressure when there’s some quality that’s coming down at you.”

Malan added that in T20 cricket, fans want to watch batting-favourable decks – something that New York didn’t see in the last couple of days. With ticket being priced heavily, there was no massive interest in the game too, evident from many absent seats during the clash. Malan stated that better wickets invariably need to be put up, while inferring how tough it was out there for batters.

“I guess when you look at T20 cricket, you want to see runs and boundaries, isn’t it? So, you can make your own conclusion whether it’s a 96 wicket. At the end of the day, you’ve got to try and do things well, whichever way you do them, whether it’s bat or ball first. We’ll obviously reassess the way we go about our business over the next 24 hours with a quick turnaround and look to be a little bit better on Friday.

“But at the end of the day, look, we’ve got a quick turnaround. It was obviously pretty tough work out there today, but we’ve played some good cricket over the last little period and we’ve got plenty in the bank to withdraw from that,” Malan said.

There have been concerns around the practice facilities dished out for the players in the T20 World Cup, with reports suggesting that South Africa decided against using their bowlers against their own batters in order to refrain from any injuries. Malan stated that teams have to compromise and adapt here, for their primary focus is to create an agile environment for their players.

“It’s not just our jobs to coach the players, it’s creating an environment, it’s leading the team, so from that point of view, we’re trying to do that work in the background to create that environment that is versatile and agile and gets on with the job. Hopefully when we get to surfaces like these or situations or conditions like these, then our players are ready to change and adapt, and execute their skills under pressure because ultimately, that’s where it needs to happen across the line.

“It’s obviously not ideal when you think. The first time we took some catches today was when the guys were warming up. So, look, it’s not ideal, but that’s not an excuse. It is what it is. We speak about being adaptable and versatile, and that’s the way we’re going to look at it. We want to keep those controllables under our thumb, and if we can try and do that, hopefully over a period of time, that’s the sort of versatile cricketers we’ll create,” the Ireland coach added.

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