He Lacked The Experience At The End Of Two Innings: Kevin O'Brien > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Lacked experience towards the end of both innings: Kevin O'Brien

"Stirlo stood in well as the T20 captain - he demanded high standards" - Kevin O'Brien

In the absence of Gary Wilson, Paul Stirling was handed the reins of the T20I side for the three-match series against Afghanistan in Dehradun, that Ireland eventually were whitewashed 0-3 in. Although the visitors put up some decent performances, they couldn't match up to the Afghanistan challenge with tormentor Rashid Khan once again rising to the fore, who picked four wickets in four balls in the final T20I with a hat-trick amidst a five-wicket haul, to finish with 11 wickets in the three games.

"It's disappointing to lose three-nil here, although Afghanistan are a very good side. We acquitted ourselves well in periods of all three games - especially with the ball in game one, and in the run chase in game two and three," O'Brien said on Monday (February 25). "We probably just lacked a little bit of experience towards the end of both innings', but we're certainly gearing up for bigger things in the future - especially with the T20 qualifier in October. We're starting to put some good things in place.

"Stirlo [Paul Stirling] stood in well as the T20 captain - he demanded high standards, and having played under some excellent captains over the years in franchise cricket, he has taken some tips from them and has his own style."

One of the things that worked well for Ireland was the promotion of Kevin O'Brien to the top, as an opener alongside the skipper himself. The pair added 126 runs together for the first wicket in the second T20I, with O'Brien playing second fiddle to his skipper with 37, while Stirling made a blazing 91. In the third T20I, O'Brien himself scored a 47-ball 74 at the top. "I love batting at the top of the order. I have done it for franchise teams in the past and had some success. I think our performances in the past in T20 needed a change, and, hopefully, this move continues to be a successful one.

"The best place to bat is at the top of the order, especially in the powerplay when you've only got two men out. With myself and Stirlo it's been all or nothing - we've got off to some flyers in the powerplay and one of us has always gone on to put in a big score. Not the match-winning hundreds we'd like, more seventies and eighties, and with Paul, the 90 he got the other day. Hopefully, we can continue to have a good partnership and continue to be successful."

Ireland will now play a five-match ODI series against Afghanistan, that will have the return of their regular skipper William Porterfield, who will also lead them in the one-off Test.

"We've got to go in fresh, but still take in what we've learnt from the T20s with the bat and ball. Their squad is very similar in that they have 4 or 5 guys coming in and it's important we learn quickly from this experience and try to implement it in the 50-over game. It's a format in which we've been more even with Afghanistan and we're looking forward to getting started on Thursday. We'll rest up today then be back training on Tuesday, then look forward to an exciting series," he said.

The first of the five ODIs will be played on Thursday (February 28).

Live Home Series
Player Schedule
Points Table Cricket Rankings
Cricket Clothing Cricket Equipment
Cricinfo Apps Download