A new-look Team India is set to square off against Ireland in a T20I series, getting underway on Sunday in Dublin. As Rohit Sharma and Co are preparing for the rescheduled Birmingham Test in England, Hardik Pandya has been given the responsibility to lead a pack of fresh blood overseas.
The Indian squad for the Ireland series comprises a good mix of youth and experience. While Dinesh Karthik secured a spot after a stellar show in the South Africa T20Is, the likes of Sanju Samson and a fit-again Suryakumar Yadav have also returned to the T20I set-up.
At the same time, fast bowlers Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh, who are awaiting national debuts since the South Africa series, also feature in the side along with Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar who is also the vice-captain for the tour.
Among the top-order batters, this Indian team already has a long list of talented youngsters in Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, and Deepak Hooda while Rahul Tripathi is the latest inclusion.
A total of 17 players to select from but the number of games to be played is only two. The figures themselves say a lot about the selection conundrum before finalising the playing XI.
However, former India selector Saba Karim has opined that the team management must try out the youngsters.
Replying to a News18 Cricketnext query at a select media interaction organised by Sony Sports Network, Saba majorly spoke about the bowlers and reckons that the team could experiment with any of the young faces with Bhuvneshwar.
“Time to bud these youngsters, that’s the way I’m looking at it. In fact, I’m looking at the T20 side. They have Umran Malik, they have Arshdeep Singh; this is the time for the youngsters to play because you can afford to do that,” Saba said.
“And it [the team] has enough experience, you have Bhuvneshwar Kumar among the bowlers. You can either play Harshal Patel or Bhuvneshawar Kumar; give one of them a break. Because Bhuvneshwar is the vice-captain, you expect him to play. And if you have him on one side, you can try out Umran and Arshdeep,” he added.
The former India wicketkeeper-batter highlighted that the youngsters in the Pandya-led side have been doing a great job in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for a long time now and can surely do well against Ireland.
“The other bowlers in the side have already performed quite well for India. So, this is time for the Indian team management to try out new players. And I don’t believe there is any lacking in terms of any experience.
“You have such youngsters who have enough experience of playing in IPL. Although some of them have little international experience, all that hardly matters in T20 cricket,” Saba concluded.
(Watch the LIVE coverage of Ireland vs India – 1st & 2nd T20i on SONY SIX (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi) & SONY TEN 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels on 26th & 28th June 2022 from 9:00 pm IST)
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