Team India will be taking on Ireland in a two-T20I series later this month, where all-rounder Hardik Pandya will be leading the squad. A number of first-team players including skipper Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah, and Rishabh Pant among others will not be taking part in the series due to their commitments with the Test team, allowing the inclusion of multiple youngsters and a maiden international call-up for 31-year-old Rahul Tripathi.
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The batter had a brilliant outing in the 2022 Indian Premier League, smashing 413 runs in 14 matches at an incredible strike rate of 158.24 for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. This was Tripathi’s best-ever season in the league and many former cricketers and fans had vouched for his inclusion in the squad.
However, it will be interesting to see if Tripathi will make his India debut in the series; the tour of Ireland consists of only two games and in the ongoing five-match T20I series against South Africa, the team management has so far shown no intention of experimentation with the XI, playing in the same team in four matches.
Former India batter Aakash Chopra said it is highly unlikely that Tripathi will play in any of the two games, insisting that the players who were on the bench in the SA T20Is will get their chances over the newcomer Tripathi.
“No. Not happening. Sorry. There are already 9 batsmen! Deepak Hooda hasn’t got a chance. Venkatesh Iyer hasn’t got a chance,” Chopra said on Star Sports ahead of the fourth T20I.
“(In Ireland) I don’t think even Sanju Samson will get a chance, if we take a look at the pecking order. Because you need to give chances to those who are in this team (squad against South Africa) first. They deserve their chances,” the former India opener further said.
The Pandya-led Indian team will take on Ireland on June 26 and 28, with both games taking place in Malahide.