Date: 26 June 2022
Time: 9 PM IST
Venue: The Village, Dublin
Ball-by-ball commentary: SportsTiger App
After the South Africa chapter came to an end with the five-match T20I series coming to an end at 2-2, a Hardik Pandya-led Indian team is in Ireland for a couple of T20Is. With only a handful number of T20Is remaining before the T20 World Cup down under, the Indian team management will follow each game closely and try to fill the void and find the perfect combination for the marquee event where they will be under pressure to put up a better show after failing to make it to the semifinals last year. In that context, the series becomes a significant one. For Ireland too, this will be an opportunity to rub shoulders against a top-side opponent, albeit only for two matches.
The average first innings score at this venue in the last 5 T20Is is 169.6. The last international T20I that was played here was staged in July 2021, almost a year ago. On that occasion, the Proteas had managed to score 165/7 batting first and restricted the Irish down to 132/9. If that game is anything to go by, it will be a very sporting wicket in Dublin with pacers, spinners and batters all having something in it for them. Anything above 8 runs an over is likely to be a par score but teams will look to breach the 180-mark for safety. Having said that, even that won’t rule out the chasing side completely out of the match with the wicket expected to play even throughout the 40 overs.
This is a great opportunity for Ireland to attract eyeballs as they take on the mighty Indians. While this is not a full-strength Indian team with the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Jasprit Bumrah all missing, Irish skipper Andrew Balbirnie himself admitted that any Indian team nowadays cannot be a great team which shows the depth of Indian cricket. Other than Balbirne, focus will be on Stephen Doheny and Conor Olphert who have earned maiden call-ups for this series. Paul Stirling the experienced campaigner would also want to leave an impact against an Indian team who may want to experiment with their XIs and combinations to answer the unsolved queries before the ICC tournament Down Under.
SportsTiger’s Playing XI of Ireland: Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie (c), Gareth Delany, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Harry Tector, George Dockrell, Andy McBrine, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Joshua Little, Curtis Campher
For India, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson and Rahul Tripathi are the new names that will be part of the series and are all likely to get a game at least on the tour. However, who bats at what position could be an interesting thing to look at. While former India head coach Ravi Shastri has backed Tripathi to get the number 3 position, Suryakumar and Samson have also batted at that position with a fair amount of success. Moreover, the other big question on the minds of Indian fans is will Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh get a game in this series? With all this and lots more such as Hardik Pandya’s leadership in T20I colours to look forward to, it all makes for a pretty exciting few hours in the build-up to the match.
SportsTiger’s Playing XI of India: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya (c), Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh
India are the stronger team on paper and despite the fact that the management may want to try out a few fresh faces in this series, they have the goods to beat Ireland.
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