IRELAND will be eager to bounce back from the heavy defeat to India when they face Canada today in their second game at the T20 World Cup.

The team cancelled its practice at Cantiague Park in Hicksville yesterday, reckoning the dire pitches there were not worth risking any more injuries. South Africa abandoned their net session the day before, resorting to throw-downs. Instead, Paul Stirling wandered the corridors of the team hotel mouthing ‘heads… heads… heads’, getting in the most useful practice for a match which could be a lottery dependent on who calls correctly at the toss.

The reverberations continued from Wednesday’s Nausea in Nassau with various commentators chipping in with criticism of the substandard surface. Former England coach Andy Flower said: ‘That is not a good surface to play an international match on. It is bordering on dangerous. You saw the ball bouncing from a length both ways, skidding low occasionally, but in the main, it was bouncing unusually high and striking people on the thumb, on the gloves, and on the helmet, making life very difficult for any batsman.’

And ex-England captain Michael Vaughan tweeted: ‘Trying to sell the game in the States is great … I love it ... but for players to have to play on this substandard surface in New York is unacceptable ... You work so hard to make it to the WC then have to play on this’.

Ireland batting coach Gary Wilson responded to a query about the adaptability of his batters: ‘Firstly it’s a difficult wicket and secondly against very highly skilful bowlers. I spoke with Stirlo after about three or four overs and the main message was that if we can get anywhere sort of competitive, then we would be in with a chance because of the movement. And we do know our bowlers can extract movement whenever it's there.

‘It was about not having the mindset of we're playing against India and we have to go and get 180-190 It's not that type of pitch. It was more, “can we get it to a competitive score?” And unfortunately, we were probably just a little bit short of that.

‘We are going to go away and assess and have a think about how we're going to put that competitive score against Canada on Friday. The toss is quite big. We definitely got the rough end of that today, but that's cricket and you can't do anything about that. So, it is about coming up with a way of getting a competitive score that we can defend.’

The toss will again be vital, with another untested pitch being used. And while Ireland made have life difficult for India had they won the toss on Wednesday, the lower-ranked Canadians can do the same to Ireland today if Stirling calls wrongly.

‘It brings all teams closer together, to be honest, whether fair or not fair,’ said Wilson. ‘The gap will be closer in any game of cricket on that surface, if I'm being honest, But the more times you play against a team that you're not as good as, if its 10 times, you might win a couple more than you normally would. But the better team will still come out on top more often than not. So, we've got to go in with that attitude on Friday.’

Ireland last faced the Canucks in 2019, when they lost in Abu Dhabi, and lead the head-to-head in the format 3-2. Their side is one of the oldest in the competition but after losing their five recent encounters with the USA, are unlikely to give Ireland any headaches – unless they win the toss.