“It’s huge,” Edwards said. “You always dream of playing World Cups, and the SCG is one of the most famous grounds in the world. And then add in you’re playing against arguably one of the best teams in the world, yes, it’s pretty surreal.”
Though wins have been hard to come by – just two against Ireland – it was a tournament Edwards cited more than once as having enabled crucial development and exposure for players. It ensured fixtures against teams who would not ordinarily play a side such as Netherlands, especially over three-match series, but it won’t be part of the calendar again, meaning matches against those sides are likely to be thinner on the ground.
“[It’s] obviously disappointing that the ODI Super League is not going ahead,” Edwards said. “It was a great experience for all of our players. Going forward there’s more teams going to the World Cups in the future, which is great, but you’ve got to qualify for those events, which is always tough.
“It’s a bit disappointing, but we’re here now and we get to play another four, five, however many games in the World Cup which we’re looking forward to.
“Coming up against these guys, it’s a little bit of an unknown if you only play the bigger nations once every few years. The fact that we got to play 12 to 15 games in the last nine months gives us a lot of confidence. Even for individuals, you look at guys that have performed against these teams. It gives you that sort of acknowledgment that you can perform on a big stage against these bigger teams. We take a lot of confidence from that.”
After the game is completed, Edwards hopes there is a chance to spend a bit of time with the India players. “Any chance you get to learn from these sorts of players is awesome,” he said. “We saw that at the last World Cup. They’re generally pretty generous with their time.”
With a little more composure they might have beaten Bangladesh in their opening Super 12s game, but no one expects them to run India close. Yet, as Ireland have just shown against England at the MCG, anything is possible.
“I don’t think there’s many people out there expecting us to win,” Edwards said. “For us…we’ll play our best brand of cricket and we’ll do everything we can to win this game. But there’s no pressure on us in that sense.”
It’s a match that dreams are made of but maybe, just maybe, it’s one where dreams can come true as well.
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo