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Will not take Ireland lightly, says Proteas assistant coach

Updated: Sep 24, 2016 12:35 IST

Johannesburg [South Africa], Sept. 24 (ANI): South Africa assistant coach Adrian Birrell has insisted that they would not be taking Ireland lightly when they face them in the one-off One-Day International (ODI) at Willowmoore Park on Sunday.

Birrell, who was the coach of the Irish team from 2002-2007, is well aware about the strengths and weaknesses of some of their key players and, therefore, believes it would be immature for the Proteas to take Ireland lightly.

"They are missing Ed Joyce and Boyd Rankin so that is their main bowler and batter out. We are also missing a few players though. They've had a few recent losses but I wouldn't read too much into that, they are a team you can never take lightly. Every now and again they create a huge upset so we will not be taking them lightly, we will be preparing for this ODI like we do against any other team," Sport24 quoted Birrell as saying.

The 55-year-old South African took Ireland to the Super Eight stages of the 2007 World Cup, the event which saw his team upsetting Pakistan and Bangladesh and a tie against Zimbabwe.

"I will be at the forefront of the preparation for the match on Sunday. I know most of their strengths and weaknesses so I will make sure that I give the relevant information to all of our players," he added.

The Proteas have won all the four ODI's against Ireland, the last being a 201-run win in Canberra at the 2015 Cricket World Cup.

The Assistant coach believes that Ireland have been starved of opportunities and, therefore, the two coming matches against South Africa and Australia within a space of a week would be fantastic.

South Africa skipper AB de Villiers will miss the ODI match against Ireland as he has failed to recover fully from left elbow injury sustained in August.

With his omission, Faf du Plessis will once again lead the team against Ireland, while Rilee Rossouw has been added in the squad as batting cover for de Villiers. (ANI)

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