Indian opener Ruturaj Gaikwad did not bat for India in the first T20I against Ireland on Sunday, June 27 at The Village in Dublin. All-rounder Deepak Hooda came out to open the innings along with Ishan Kishan. The duo helped the Indian team to chase down the target with ease. Skipper Hardik Pandya has now revealed the reason why Ruturaj Gaikwad did not come out to bat.
The first T20I was reduced to a 12-overs per side affair, due to rains. Chasing 108 runs, India made a surprising move at the top by sending Deepak Hooda to open. While the change seemed to be a tactical move, Hardik revealed that Ruturaj Gaikwad had a niggle.
Speaking after the conclusion of the match, Hardik Pandya stated that Ruturaj Gaikwad had niggle in his calf. He was not sent to take as a precautionary measure. The Indian skipper did not want to risk the batter, as the injury might aggravate. Pandya said in his post-match press conference,
“Rutu had a niggle in his calf, We had the choice of taking a risk and sending him in (to open), but I was not okay with it. A player’s well-being is more important, and (I thought) we’ll be able to manage what happens in the match. It was quite simple after that, there wasn’t much of a decision to make; whatever our (batting-order) numbers were, we all went up one spot, and it wasn’t a big headache. We wanted to make sure we weren’t taking any chances with Rutu.”
India chased down the target with seven wickets to spare. Deepak Hooda remained unbeaten on 47 runs, while Ishan Kishan scored 26 at the top. Skipper Hardik Pandya too chipped in with a quickfire 24, to help India take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
1-0 in the series 🇮🇳
Superb chase from India! Deepak Hooda remains 47 not out in his first-ever T20 as an opener 👏#IREvIND
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) June 26, 2022
It’s a big thing for Umran Malik to play for India: Hardik Pandya
Pacer Umran Malik made his debut for India in the T20I format on Sunday, in the first T20I against Ireland. However, he bowled just one over and turned out to be expensive in it. The youngster conceded runs in the over, as Harry Tector took him on in the match.
Speaking about Umran Malik, Hardik Pandya expressed that the youngsters will only get better from here, as he plays more matches. He added that he wants Umran Malik to enjoy his game. Hardik Pandya said,
“It’s part and parcel of the game, but at the same point of time, from here he’ll only get better, the more matches he plays, and it’s a big thing for him to play for India, for anyone to play for India. I want to let him enjoy this moment because it doesn’t come every time. A debut happens only once.”
The second T20I between Ireland and India will take place on Tuesday, June 28 at The Village in Dublin.