Friday 15 December 2017

Niall O'Brien World Cup diary: After creating a storm, we arrived into a cyclone

'Coach Phil Simmons and everyone involved in the camp are determined we won't fall into that trap because we want success too much to let last week's great win be in vain'
'Coach Phil Simmons and everyone involved in the camp are determined we won't fall into that trap because we want success too much to let last week's great win be in vain'

Niall O'Brien: World Cup Diary

At home, there's nothing strange about being stuck indoors in February because of high winds and torrential rain, but it's not the sort of thing you expect to be dealing with during the Australian summer.

After creating a storm against the West Indies in Nelson, we arrived into a cyclone in Brisbane.

Thankfully, the weather which battered the city last weekend has moved on and we were able to practise at the world-famous Gabba yesterday with the sun on our backs and minds firmly focused on the UAE.

Australia's game against Bangladesh here was abandoned without a ball being bowled last weekend, meaning the points were shared - a result that could be crucial in their group.

Hopefully there'll be nothing similar when we take the field in the early hours of tomorrow morning (Irish time) because with a nine-day break between our first and second game, we're itching to get going again.

Speaking of that first game, we had wonderful feedback from friends and fans all over the world after the West Indies win but we know there's no point being remembered for winning one game if we don't perform in the others.

The relatively long break meant we were able to relax a little for a couple of days after the win in Nelson. We left there for the Gold Coast - a surf stretch along the Queensland coastline - to unwind and get away from cricket for a few days but the game faces were back on by the time we got to Brisbane.

The weather hampered our practice and we were restricted to indoor sessions but the boys worked really hard in the nets and in the gym so that frustration wasn't allowed to set in.

In the great Aussie tradition, we were also invited to a barbecue which was a lovely gesture by ICC performance manager Richard Done and his wife, Kate.

Richard has been behind the emergence of the Associate Nations for a long time now and with two of us squaring off against each other in Brisbane, it was fairly timely.

I watched the UAE's game against Zimbabwe and their batting really delivered so we will need to execute our plans and skills in the same way as we did against the West Indies. Two points would set us up nicely going into a six-day break before the third game against South Africa and nobody wants to be kicking themselves during those six days because we were complacent in a game that we are expected to win. Coach Phil Simmons, captain Will Porterfield and everyone involved in the camp are determined we won't fall into that trap because we want success too much to let last week's great win be in vain.

It helps that there is so much experience within the squad, with eight of the team who played against the West Indies having also played against England in the famous game in Bangalore four years ago.

As for the new faces, here's is a few pieces of information you may like to know about some of the new kids on the block:

Andrew McBrine: 'Scra' as he is known is a top lad from Derry. An ever-improving player, his off-spin has come on this winter and his spell of 0-26 from 10 overs last week was sensational. A superb darts player and avid Spurs fan, he has a fine future ahead of him and is proving superb support for George Dockrell.

Peter Chase: The pride of Malahide. A talented fast bowler who can bowl at good speed, and when he gets it right he is a wicket taker. Had a good finish to the county season with Durham. Enjoys a sing-song and entertains us with his trad Irish singalongs.

Craig Young: Burst onto the scene in the last 12 months and has taken a lot of wickets. Missed out on selection last week but will be vital as this tournament progresses. A quiet lad who goes about his business very professionally.

These young players are the future but, for now, the focus is squarely on the Gabba.

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