Next we look at the other opponent of Ireland, in the group stages of the T20 World Cup.
We will look at the West Indies, a talented side when they turn up to play. However more often than not the bad West Indies turns up. A team of great things in the past, which a rich history. However long gone are those glory days.
However under a new coach, things are starting to become more consistent for this side. Although they have been hampered like many sides when it's come to the IPL. With some of their star players deciding to play for glory in India, over their national side.
We will look at the key and most dangerous batsman they possess.
In my opinion he is the most dangerous T20 batsman playing cricket. He can single handily win games for any side. With no boundary in the world out of his reach. There is very few words that can be said about Gayle, that hasn't already been said. A flick by his standards, would leave most batsmen struggling to match the distance he covers.
In the recent IPL he smoked 733 runs, with a top score of 128* whilst doing so at an average of 61.08, with a strike-rate of 160.74. Nobdy came close to him in this IPL or the previous IPL.
When he gets in, he is rarely stopped. Unless a side can get him out quickly, then the game can be all over within a few overs. If he does have any apparent weakness, it would appear spin first up is something a side can try against Gayle.
Or some of the new ball bowlers with top pace, like Steyn was able to frustrate him at times. He at times during the IPL wouldn't face the first delivery, if spin was put in his way. So it appears there is a possible weakness there. Or perhaps an immaculate line on the 4th stump line, can have him tied up.
Dwayne Smith is another possible opener with Gayle.
He is another powerful opener, not in the same class as Gayle. However he showed glimpses again, during the Caribbean T20 and the IPL of what he is capable of doing. Although he is far more inconsistent than Gayle. While his T20i average isn't anything special at 15.83, however his strike-rate of 143.93 is a far better stat to view. He often gets away to a good start but soon falls to a careless stroke. A key word for most of the West Indies squad is inconsistency, or lacking restraint.
The next key player for the West Indies is their all-rounder Dwayne Bravo. Another player who has spent long periods of time in the IPL. He is a flashy player, who likes to play his strokes under any circumstance. Who is also a very capable medium pace bowler. Having finished with 15 wickets in the last IPL, while also scoring 371 runs at 46.37 with a strike-rate of 140.53.
He is a vital part of the middle order for the West Indies, with plenty of experience in the T20 format.
Kieron Pollard is the most inconsistent batsman in the West Indies side. However like Gayle he is capable of destroying any bowling attack. There is also similarities between himself and Gayle, with their struggle against spin. However it would appear Pollard has a longer struggle with tackling spin. While Gayle just appears to struggle at the start of his innings.
Pollard is also a tricky bowler, who picks up vital wickets with his tame pace. He doesn't send it down the track at any great speed. Perhaps with batsmen being tied down at one end, they see the slower deliveries of Pollard and try to get stuck into him. Whilst doing this, it leads to their downfall. As he is a crafty bowler with a few tricks up his sleeve.
Sunil Narine is the surprise package for the West Indies. When he appeared in the Caribbean T20 in 2011, there was doubts raised over his action. Which was eventually straightened out by bio-mechanical experts in the University of Western Australia in Perth. However the new action that was tweaked was even more devastating to the opposition batsmen.
In the 2011 Champions League he took 10 wickets at an average of 10.50, with an economy of only 4.37. He was even more successful in the 2012 IPL, with 24 wickets this time. With an average of 13.50 and an economy of 5.47.
He had some of the top batsmen in the league bamboozled, as they tried their best to figure him out.
Ireland will find both Australia and the West Indies difficult opponents. However neither side should take Ireland for granted. With Ireland very capable of beating both of these sides. If Ireland can dismiss Chris Gayle early, whilst coming to terms with the variations of Narine. There is no reason why they can't come out on top.
This will be a difficult task for Ireland, although it's a challenge they will most certainly be up for.
Key Batsman - Chris Gayle
Key All-rounder - Dwayne Bravo
Key Bowler - Sunil Narine
Key Strength - Aggressive Approach
Key Weakness - Aggresive Approach/Inconsistency