Key opponents Ireland will face in the group stages of the T20 World Cup 2012 in Sri Lanka. First I will look at Australia, arguably the stronger of the two sides that Ireland will face.
The likely openers for Australia will be Shane Watson & David Warner.
Shane Watson an aggressive opening batsman, with the ability two hit the ball out of any ground in the world. Even the boundaries in Colombo might be easily reachable by him. However if he has a weakness, it would be to good pace early into his innings. He's likely to be found LBW over most dismissals. While he also has two strings to his bow, with his ability to bowl. He bowls fast-medium deliveries with a canny ability to pick up valuable wickets. Ireland might only have one bowler brisk enough to initially worry Watson. However he's the type to find the accurate and disciplined bowling of Ireland frustrating. Which could be one of the best ways to dismiss Watson.
David Warner also another very aggressive opener for Australia. However he's more susceptible to spin more so than pace. He might find the accuracy of Ireland's George Dockrell something difficult to get away.
However he is much shorter batsman then his fellow opener. Although he packs a strong punch, also having the ability of depositing most bowlers out of the ground.
Ireland will need to dismiss the two openers quickly. With either of them getting in, it could be disaster for Ireland. As they're both likely to rack of huge scores, while doing so quickly.
While the two Husseys brothers are two middle order batsmen that will trouble Ireland. With both of them excellent players, with Michael Hussey being the better player of spin. However David Hussey is the bowler of the family.
He bowls off-break and has been known to specialize in T20 cricket. With a T20i average of 19.10, at a very decent strike-rate of 18.0 whilst having 19 wickets to his name.
While Michael Hussey has a top score of 60* at an average of 37.85 with a rampant strike-rate of 147.63.
Brad Hogg will be their mystery spinner. He bowls slow left-arm chinaman deliveries, while he played for Australia he bamboozled batsmen across the world. However he had initially retired in the summer of 2007-08, however he recently left the commentator position. Only to return to grade cricket in Perth. While his enthusiasm he displayed in his stint with the Perth Scorchers had led to a recall, despite the age of 40.
Ireland will be doing well to pick his wrong'un and this tricky spinner, could cause a lot of trouble for the Irish batsmen if their not on their guard.
Brett Lee is the veteran of the Aussie pace attack. Whilst remaining one of the most adored cricketers in the world. He still has the pace to trouble any top order batsman in the game today. Don't take his smile for granted, behind the smile is a fierce competitor who will soon have one flying past your grill. A lot of the Irish batsmen will enjoy the pace and the ball coming onto the bat.
The Aussies overall as a team are one of the best sides in the world. Overall they're very strong in every department, especially with their fielding. However if Ireland can produce good tight, accurate and disciplined fielding. There is no reason why Ireland can't add another scalp to their already long list of Test nation scalps.
Key Batsman - Michael Hussey
Key All-rounder - David Hussey
Key Bowler - Brad Hogg
Key Strength - Fielding
Key Weakness - Overconfidence