Hardik Pandya Wins Toss On Captaincy Debut; Umran Malik Makes Debut – SportsMediaz

India won the toss and opt to bowl as they handed debut to pacer Umran Malik in the opening match against Ireland. Hardik Pandya made his captaincy debut and chose to bowl first, however, he admitted he would have batted first at the Malahide which is seeing some inclement weather.

Hardik Pandya | India captain: We are going to bowl. We would have loved to bat, but looking at the weather we felt bowling would be better. Nice to be in Ireland. Have fans here and feels like playing at home. Absolute honour to lead India. Any cricket who starts playing dreams of leading the country and I am very lucky to be leading my country. My role is simple. Just back them (the players) and ask them to play with freedom and express themselves.

Andrew Balbirnie | Ireland captain: Probably would have bowled because of the weather around. Guys are excited for this series. Really important to play against one of the best teams in the world. Conor Olphert is going to make his debut today.

India (Playing XI): Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya(c), Dinesh Karthik(w), Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umran Malik

Ireland Playing XI: 1 Paul Stirling, 2 Andy Balbirnie (capt), 3 Gareth Delany, 4 Harry Tector, 5 Lorcan Tucker (wk), 6 George Dockrell, 7 Mark Adair, 8 Andy McBrine, 9 Craig Young, 10 Josh Little, 11 Conor Olphert

India’s fringe players including a struggling Ruturaj Gaikwad and Sanju Samson will get another chance to prove themselves before the return of the seniors when Hardik Pandya marks his much-anticipated International captaincy debut against a star-struck Ireland in a two-match T20 series, beginning here on Sunday.

With Rishabh Pant joining the the Test side in England, Pandya was appointed the stand-in skipper after his heroics in leading Gujarat Titans to IPL 2022 triumph in their debut season. Pant stood in as skipper in their last T20I series at home against South Africa after KL Rahul pulled out due to a groin injury.

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