India will lock horns with Ireland in the first of the two T20Is on June 26 (Sunday) in Dublin. Ace all-rounder Hardik Pandya will lead the side in the absence of regular cricketers, who are busy with the one-off Test against England.
The Hardik Pandya-led side will start as favourites. The series provides a platform for a slew of fringe players like Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Avesh Khan, Rahul Tripathi and the returning Sanju Samson to make an impression ahead of the T20 World Cup to be held in Australia.
Some of the players who didn’t get a chance despite being included in the squad against South Africa – Venkatesh Iyer, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Hooda and others – would also be hoping to find a place in the XI.
Ireland, on the other hand, will hope to put their barren run in the shortest format behind them. Barring a series win against Zimbabwe last year, the European country doesn’t have much to show for in the shortest format in the last three years.
Andrew Balbirnie, the skipper, will continue to be the mainstay of the batting unit. Ireland also need their veteran top-order bat Paul Stirling to get into his groove. Since scoring a hundred against Northants in the T20 Blast last month, Stirling has been in poor form.
1st T20I – India (IND) vs Ireland (IRE)
Venue: The Village, Dublin
Date & Time: June 26, at 9:00 PM IST and 4:30 PM Local Time
The deck is expected to assist the batter with the bowlers having a tough time to pick up wickets. Usually a score of around 180-185 is a competitive total at the ground.
Predicted Playing XI
India (IND): Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson/Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya (c), Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh
Ireland (IRE): Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie (c), Gareth Delany, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Harry Tector, George Dockrell, Andy McBrine, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Joshua Little, Curtis Campher
IND vs IRE – Fantasy Team Suggestions
Fantasy Team 1: Dinesh Karthik, Ishan Kishan, Paul Stirling, Andy Balbirnie (vc), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Hardik Pandya (c), Curtis Campher, Andy McBrine, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mark Adair
Fantasy Team 2: Dinesh Karthik, Ishan Kishan (c), Paul Stirling, Andy Balbirnie, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Curtis Campher, Andy McBrine (vc), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mark Adair