Friday, May 24, 2024

Ross Adair keen to make big impact with Ireland but knows he must remain patient

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He has been in every Ireland T20 squad since he made his debut against Zimbabwe at the start of last year but has played only seven times — when either captain Paul Stirling or Andrew Balbirnie were missing.

But the CIYMS big hitter is content to bide his time and admits, even after reaching a landmark birthday last month, he is still learning.

“You need to do the time and I’m lucky that Stirlo and Bal are two of Ireland’s greatest ever. I have a lot to learn from them and if I ever need someone to speak to they are always there to chat, which is great for me. In the grand scheme of things I am 30 now but still relatively fresh and there is plenty to talk about,” he said.

“In my first year of international cricket I averaged 20 (top score 65) at a strike rate of 135 which I would have taken for my first year. I just have to knuckle down, bide my time and get it right.

“I’m not angry at not playing, it’s great to be involved, an amazing experience and I am looking forward to the next few months.”

This week, Adair found out he would be going to the USA at the end of June as part of Ireland’s T20 World Cup squad so why wouldn’t he be relishing the next six weeks?

Speaking after Northern Knights’ last-over five-wicket defeat by Northern Warriors at Stormont yesterday, Adair added: “I’ll drive back down tonight with Neil (Rock) and be ready for Pakistan.

“Then there’s a couple of days’ break before we go to the Netherlands (for a Tri-series with Scotland) and after a couple of days’ break it’s off to the World Cup.

“So it will be pretty non-stop. And not everyone can say they have been to a World Cup so I’m one of the lucky ones and really looking forward to getting stuck in. You obviously want to play — I don’t want to carry drinks — but you have to bide your time behind the scenes and be ready to take your chance if it comes.

“Even if I come on as a sub fielder I am looking to make an impact with a catch or a specy, trying to make a difference whether I’m on for one ball or five overs.

“It can be tough for some people carrying drinks and then switch on to be a fielder. I feel I am quite good at that, there is no need for me to start thinking about getting into the game.”

And that’s something that Adair will always do. As he puts it: “It’s tough to break into the team but it doesn’t mean I’m not going to give 110 per cent to all the guys. I will always give my all for the team, the lads and coaches deserve it. They have all supported me.”

That support encourages Adair to play his natural game — even if it means getting out early.

“Both Stirlo and (batting coach) Gary Wilson tell me to just go out there and be you. I wouldn’t be in the squad if I wasn’t playing my natural game. I have done a lot of work over the winter technically and now it’s just trying to get time in the middle.

“I’m a relaxed, chilled-out guy and don’t want to go looking for runs, I just want them to flow and that’s when I play my best cricket. I’ve been through a bit of a tough period (he followed a golden duck last Friday with a second-baller yesterday) and you think about that, but it is all about the next game.”

Pakistan are Ireland’s final group opponents in Florida on June 16 — it could be a winner-take-all game to reach the second stage — and Adair admits this weekend’s matches, the remaining two are on Sunday and Tuesday, will be a good test.

“It’s a good forecast, unfortunately,” says Adair. “I was hoping the weather would be a bit cloudier and colder so they wouldn’t fancy it as much, but it will be good to see how the guys respond to one of the best white-ball teams in the world.

“It’s also our first home game in a while so hopefully we will make a good go of it.”

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