Ireland has found it tough against their opponents Afghanistan in the series so far. They lost the T20I series despite playing at home and with the start of the ODI series on Monday (August 27) their skipper William Porterfield has asked his batsmen to play the wrist spin of Rashid Khan with more care and attention.
As the ODI series gets a kickstart, Porterfield is confident that with home conditions aiding them, his side will be very competitive despite losing the three-match Twenty20 International series 2-0.
"The last few series we've had have been determined by one game either way. They've been very close, the last time it was 3-2, Noida was 3-2 and Sharjah was 3-1 ... going both ways. It's always been competitive challenges, so I don't expect this to be any different," Porterfield said.
"The longer format (ODIs) has suited us over the last couple of years. We haven't been able to put it together in T20, but in the longer format we've got it right.
"We're confident in this format. In our own conditions, we can come out on top. The important thing for us is to start the series well. The last three series we've come out on the wrong side of the first game. So if we can hit the ground running, it makes the rest of the week a lot easier."
Rashid Khan is placed first and second in the ICC rankings for T20Is and ODIs respectively and Irish skipper William Potterfield has suggested his batters to tackle him well.
"If we minimise the wickets we concede to him in the top seven, that's when we'll come out on top, and we know that as a squad," Porterfield said. "He's a very good bowler, he's ranked No.1 in the world for a reason. He's right up there in both formats."
"The more you play against someone the more you get to deal (with them), you’ve got to evolve your game and play him well, just as he keeps looking to evolve his.
"If, come the end, he hasn’t had a successful week in the end column, then I think we will have had a successful week."
"The top order has to perform, it’s our job to put a total on the board. If you expose the tail to Rashid he’s going to have one over on them, but if we minimise the wickets he gets in that top seven then a lot of games we’ll come out on top."
Porterfield noted that the Irish bowlers too had found success against Afghanistan. "As much as Rashid has had success against us in their conditions, our seamers have done well against their batters in their conditions. When you come here, you expect the seamers to get a bit more assistance. Hopefully, they can continue the work they've been doing as well," he said.