Porterfield looks forward to West Indies match
February 15th 2015 | International
William Porterfield looks forward to the West Indies clash at the captain’s pre-match press conference.
Q. Your third World Cup campaign. Are you excited about the tournament ahead?
WILLIAM PORTERFIELD: Yeah, we are. Obviously a lot to be looking forward to for quite a while. Been out here for a couple weeks now, and looking forward to getting stuck in.
Q. Happy with the preparations?
WILLIAM PORTERFIELD: Yeah, very happy. As I said, I’ve been out here a couple weeks now, and getting the first couple days and things out of the system, getting another day early, and getting into the cricket has been really good. I think that we can’t fault the preparation we’ve had, and everywhere we’ve been from Sydney through to here has been fantastic. Yeah, we just can’t wait for tomorrow.
Q. Nice blend in the squad of experience and young players?
WILLIAM PORTERFIELD: Yeah, there is. A few of the lads have been around for quite a while now, and a couple lads this is the first 50 of a World Cup, so they’re getting a taste of what it’s all about, and the last couple weeks have been getting used to that. They’re excited, and I’m excited for them. I think there’s a lot of good young talent coming through that’s going to be ready to impress. As I said, I’m excited for them.
Q. Your impressions of the West Indies squad? They’ve lost a couple of key players.
WILLIAM PORTERFIELD: Yeah, obviously a few lads have missed out or whatever, but it’s West Indies cricket. They’ve got a wealth of talent back in the West Indies, and no matter what West Indies side turns up, they’re going to be good opposition. Whatever happens back there in terms of who gets in their squad, I don’t really care to be honest. I’m happy enough with our preparations and how we’ve gone about things, and whichever 11 takes the field for them, then that’s who we’ve got to beat.
Q. Have we reached the stage where it’s not going to be a surprise if Ireland win tomorrow?
WILLIAM PORTERFIELD: Yeah, well, I don’t think it is. I think we’ve played enough cricket now, and we’ve been around that everyone knows everyone. There’s not many teams that won’t know much about the 15 lads that are in our squad. Yeah, I don’t think it’ll be a surprise. I think we’re preparing for every game and going out there to win that game, and I don’t think it’ll be a surprise to anyone if we can go out there and win games.
Q. You said after the game against Scotland, big loss there, that the team wasn’t that far away. You seemed to have improved remarkably against Bangladesh, but there still seems to be more in the tank. Would you agree?
WILLIAM PORTERFIELD: Yeah, I think we’ve been building up, and I think the one good thing is, as I said, all along our preparations have been fantastic, so I think that that’s one of the things you always look at, how you’ve gone about things and where you are as a player and how you’ve gone about your game and if you’ve done everything you can to best prepare yourself. And I think all the lads can honestly look at themselves and say they can, and they have done that. I think that showed even more so in the Bangladesh game, just obviously quite a few areas we can improve on. I think we’re a lot more consistent with the balls, maybe (inaudible) 20 odd wides, but as a general we bowled very well in that game, and the fielding, that’s something we’re in control of. We’re a lot better, and obviously with the bats we lost a couple maybe ‑‑ I guess too many. But the way we’ve seen that omen, especially Bally getting out there and spending time in the middle, as well, it’s great to see him the way he’s come through this winter and really stuck his hand up and forced his way into the side has been great. Obviously you get the old heads, as well, so we’re in a good place.
Q. In terms of the batting, there was obviously some slight concern about the fact that some of the top order aren’t making runs. It’s obviously important now in the World Cup that the top order will be in a position to go on and make runs. They have to go on, don’t they?
WILLIAM PORTERFIELD: Yeah, obviously that concerns probably that side of the table, not this side of the table. I think the couple of games we’ve played we’ve had good starts. We’ve laid that bit of a platform over the last couple weeks in clusters, which isn’t great, so that’s coming outside the 10. As I said the last probably few 50‑over games we’ve played, albeit spaced out over a couple of years, that’s been one of our strengths, and that’s where we’ve played well. The last year we’ve played a lot of Twenty20 cricket, but in the buildup this winter, I think as a general we’ve had pretty good starts with the bat, and that’s something we have to look to improve on and keep going and continue with.
Q. And you will be part of the selection process to pick 11 from 15? It must be obviously sometimes a difficult task to leave four players out.
WILLIAM PORTERFIELD: Yeah, it is, for myself. But it’s great to see where we’re at. Obviously there’s lads sitting back at home that are disappointed not to be out here in the 15, so it makes it even harder, as well, when you come down to picking an 11. That’s a great selection headache to have, and you can probably put out a team a couple of different ways, whichever way you want to go about it, but there’s going to be lads very disappointed tomorrow, and rightly so.
Q. I’m sure that Phil Simmons having played for the West Indies, it’s an advantage having him within the management structure going into a game against the West Indies?
WILLIAM PORTERFIELD: Yeah, it is. I think Sim was experienced in the knowledge of the game, and he’s obviously great to have. But he obviously knows quite a few of the West Indies players, as well. But as I said before, as we all do, the amount of cricket that’s shown around the world on TV and the amount of videos knocking around, everyone knows everyone pretty well. Obviously Sim will just add that better and extra touch whenever it comes down to that and the finer details, but yeah, I think everyone has got access to everything these days, so there’s not many stones that can be left unturned.
Q. Is there one lesson that stood out for you during the warm‑up game of an area that you thought, this is the area we need to either improve or be our best at to compete in the conditions you’ll get out here?
WILLIAM PORTERFIELD: No one in particular that stands out. Obviously there’s stuff that we can be more in control of. I think the amount of wides we’ve bowled in a few games has been something that was spoken about, but as I said, against Bangladesh, I think as much as we did both a few wides in that game, we were consistently a lot better, which was a threat at the 50 overs, which was great, and remarkable improvement from where we were against Scotland. We were a bit lethargic there, but we freshened up and we were good against Bangladesh and somewhere near where we want to be. The couple of times we’ve lost a couple wickets in clusters, but that’s not a major concern for me. I think we’re in a very good place, and our preparations have been very good, so it’s just a matter of getting out there tomorrow now.
Q. It’s been the general perception that perhaps spin won’t play a vast part in this World Cup, but George Dockrell has been a key player for you over a number of years now. How vital is he to your bowling attack?
WILLIAM PORTERFIELD: Yeah, Dock has been a big player for us since he came in. I think he’s throwing at the deep end really, with McCallan and Regan West both got injured within the space and retired within the space of probably a few months, and he got chucked into the Twenty20 qualifiers I’m not sure what year, and his first World Cup, pretty much his third or fourth game would have been in the World Cup. He swam really, like he literally got chucked in the deep end and he’s doing very well, and he’s always improving. It’s easy to forget how young he still is. He’s only about 22 and he’s been around for quite a while. He’s obviously a big player for us, as are a few lads. I’m sure he’ll be looking to go out there and impress, as well.
Q. Clearly you wouldn’t have wanted to lose someone of Tim Murtagh’s skill before this World Cup, but is it very reassuring as a captain when you can bring in someone like Max with the record he has? He was obviously very close to getting in the original squad, and is that one of the key differences you can see in Irish cricket from maybe the first World Cup you guys played to where you are now as a squad?
WILLIAM PORTERFIELD: Yeah, most definitely. I think that, as I said before, there’s a lot of lads that have missed out in this 15 that are very disappointed, and Max was one of those originally, and he’s come in and he’s showing great attitude as well which we come to expect from him, and he’s come here and really stuck his hand up. He was in Dubai with the squad in January and bowled fantastically well in the nets and really improved throughout those few weeks, and he’s continued that on here, and it’s been great to see.
Q. Bearing in mind the past eight years, not just the World Cup but the matches in between and the success, does it feel different? Does the camp feel different? Does the dressing room feel different going into the tournament?
WILLIAM PORTERFIELD: Well, from 2007 to now, I think there obviously has been a lot of changes. I think we were going in slightly unknown in 2007 if you like, but again, that was eight years ago, and as you said, there’s been a lot of differences from then until now. That is the difference, we’re a lot more experienced in terms of how much we’ve played, and we’ve been around for a while. Obviously we want to play in more fixtures and stuff like that, but we’ve played nine ODIs in the last four years, which is against top‑eight teams, so two a year is not really a lot. In terms of that experience, there’s not a lot there, and the younger lads don’t really get that opportunity. But for like myself and a lot of lads there, we’ve played a lot of cricket, played a lot of county cricket, and we’ve got a lot of experience under our belts in one‑day cricket. We’ll be drawing on that.
Q. Yesterday Gary Wilson said he doesn’t think the team have ever been better prepared for a World Cup than this, obviously. Can you just expand on that? What perhaps the differences are in the way that you are preparing? Is it just the amount of cricket you’ve been playing or other aspects in preparing for this tournament?
WILLIAM PORTERFIELD: Well, I think the experience and a lot of lads, as I said before, I think there’s seven ‑‑ maybe seven or eight, correct me if I’m wrong, six or seven that have played in the 2007 World Cup, so that’s eight years, and those lads were a lot of young lads then, were growing up throughout the team together, played a lot together, were all late 20s, 30 now, and then you chuck in the youngsters now, youngsters come into the side with a lot more knowledge of cricket as such. When we started playing we didn’t have that growing up through Ireland. We played a lot of club cricket, but we didn’t have the experience that some of those lads have had traveling around the world and playing in different competitions, so I think young lads come into the squad expecting to play and wanting to play, whereas 10 years ago lads came into the side and it was kind of a case of, well, great, we’ve made the side, we’ve made the squad, and that’s kind of your first step, and then you get experience through that. But now as lads come into the squad with the way they want to play, I think that’s a big difference.