The Village in Dublin will bring us live action for the first T20I between Ireland and India.
India managed to bounce back brilliantly after going 2-0 down in their previous home T20I series against South Africa by winning their next two remaining games. However, the fifth T20I, which was being held in Bengaluru, got called off with only a few first-innings overs having been bowled due to heavy rain; the trophy, thus, had to be shared.
Hardik Pandya, who was the vice captain in the previous T20I series, will be leading Team India for the first time and will be supported by the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar as the vice captain. Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan, all of whom played a vital role in the last T20I series, will have to once again be at their very best in the upcoming series in order to cement a place for their respective selves in the Team India squad for the upcoming T20I World Cup. Suryakumar Yadav, who missed majority of the IPL due to injury, is returning to the national setup.
Among the players who played the series against South Africa, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant will miss out the Ireland series as they are part of the Indian squad in Manchester for the fifth rescheduled Test against England. All eyes will again be on Dinesh Karthik, who performed brilliantly in the finisher’s role. The selectors have handed chances to Sanju Samson and Rahul Tripathi as well on account of their impressive performances in IPL 2022. An interesting point to note here is that the series will also mark the debut of VVS Laxman as coach as he will be deputising for Rahul Dravid, who is in Manchester with the Test squad. Overall, the Team India strong and balanced on paper and will be looking forward to clinching the two matches they will be playing in Ireland to gain momentum leading up to the T20I World Cup.
Ireland, on the other hand, succumbed to a seven-wicket defeat in Oman at the hands of the UAE in the finals of the T20I World Cup Qualifier A. Prior to the Qualifiers, they had managed to shock the West Indies in Jamaica by clinching the ODI series. They are more than capable of causing an upset, and with the home support to their advantage, India cannot afford to lose focus.
Match: Ireland vs India, Sunday, 26 June 2022
Venue: The Village, Dublin
Time: 9:00 pm (IST)
Where to watch: SonyLIV | Sony Sports Network
The Village is a small cricket ground with a capacity of just over 3,000. The pitch seems to be towards the slower end; expect a low-scoring game and expect the team winning the toss to bowl first.
Probable playing XIs:
Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie (c), Gareth Delany, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Harry Tector, George Dockrell, Andy McBrine, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Joshua Little, Curtis Campher
Bench: Stephen Doheny, Mark Adair, George Dockrell, Joshua Little, Conor Olphert, Craig Young
Venkatesh Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya (c), Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umran Malik
Bench: Rahul Tripathi, Deepak Hooda, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Ravi Bishnoi
Matches Played: 3 | India have won all three encounters
Batter to watch out for: Suryakumar Yadav
If there was one thing that caused a major dent in the Mumbai Indians’ chances of making it to the Playoffs in IPL 2022, it was the injury caused to their star batter Suryakumar Yadav. He has been consistent and has delivered whenever given a chance for Team India, and he will be looking forward to do the same once again and will be very well aware of the fierce competition that exists for the middle order of the Team India setup. Yadav was in fine form before his injury; I expect him to perform well in Ireland.
Bowler to watch out for: Umran Malik
With 22 wickets in 14 IPL games earlier this year, bagging the IPL 2022 Emerging Player of the Season award, Umran Malik earned his call-up to the national side for the T20I series against South Africa. Many expected him to play at least one game, but Umran failed to make his T20I debut at home. However, he is in the squad for the upcoming series against Ireland as well, and fans will be hoping to see him don the blue jersey and demolish the Ireland batting order with his brutal pace. I’m backing him to start the first game, and all eyes shall undoubtedly be on the SunRisers Hyderabad pacer.
Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan (vc), Suryakumar Yadav, Paul Stirling, Andy Balbirnie, Hardik Pandya (c), George Dockrell, Harshal Patel, Umran Malik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Craig Young
Ireland have never won a T20I game against India, but they are more than capable of causing an upset. India, on the other hand, are on a two-game winning streak, and Hardik Pandya will be looking to clinch a victory in his first game as Team India captain.
Although this is a young Indian side, they possess depth and an overall balance in their batting and bowling orders. I’m backing them to emerge victorious in the first game in Malahide.