Number one-ranked T20I side, India, take on 14th-placed Ireland in the first T20I of the two-match series at The Village in Dublin on Sunday. Ishan Kishan and Harshal Patel impressed in the series against South Africa and they would look to continue with their form. The matches against Ireland will also have Suryakumar Yadav returning back to the squad after recovering from injury. Hardik Pandya will be leading the side in the series with Bhuvneshwar Kumar being the vice-captain of the team.
Here’s what we think could be India’s playing XI for the first T20I against Ireland:
Ishan Kishan: The southpaw was on song against South Africa as he ended up as the highest run-getter in the series. He would look to emulate his batting form.
Ruturaj Gaikwad: The right-handed batter registered just one fifty in the series against South Africa, and he would hope to be more consistent in order to cement his place in the side.
Suryakumar Yadav: The star India batter has returned to the national side after recovering from an injury to his left arm. His form is extremely crucial for India ahead of the T20 World Cup slated to take place in Australia later this year.
Sanju Samson: Though the fight for a position in the playing XI of the team is extremely tough for Samson currently, the Ireland series can help him make his case strong. Samson needs to take his innings deep.
Hardik Pandya (c): The all-rounder will be captaining India for the first time. Besides his leadership, the focus will once again be on how he utilises himself as a bowler.
Dinesh Karthik: He is a man on mission. After a memorable national return in the series against South Africa, Karthik would be looking to take his performance to the next level against Ireland.
Axar Patel: The southpaw becomes an important member of the team due to his all-round abilities. He can trap the batters with his left-arm orthodox spin and can also hit big shots with the bat. Besides, he is also a gun fielder.
Harshal Patel: He emerged as the highest wicket-taker in the T20I series against South Africa. The series against Ireland will help Harshal try out some new variations.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: He was the second-most economical bowler during the South Africa series. Despite conceding at around 11 runs per over in the first game, Bhuvi conceded less than six runs per over in the remaining three games he bowled in.
Umran Malik: Given the pace Malik brings to the table, the team management might try to give him his maiden international match against Ireland to make sure he progresses in the easiest way.
Yuzvendra Chahal: The leg-spinner is back in his groove and India would want him to continue his good run cosidering the T20 World Cup is just months ago from now.
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