Ireland will host India for a series of two T20I matches to be played on June 27 and 29 respectively at the Malahide Cricket Club in Dublin, Ireland.
These matches will be a prequel to the India-England limited overs series and with Ireland now a Test nation will have more weight age when it comes to quality.
Ireland is coming off from playing a T20I tri-series against Scotland and Netherlands and have match practice under them. India, on the other hand, is coming off a two months layoff, barring the one-off Test against Afghanistan and are banking on their IPL form to come good against Ireland.
India has quite a task at their hands in order to pick out an effective XI for the T20I based on performances of IPL and the Afghanistan Test. That is why Circle of Cricket predicts the Indian playing XI for the first T20I against Ireland.
Here is the COC Predicted India XI
Though Shikhar Dhawan’s form in the IPL was good and he scored a blazing fast ton in the Afghanistan Test, when compared to the exploits of KL Rahul, Dhawan’s performances lose some sheen. Rahul smacked a 14 ball fifty in IPL for KXIP, while Dhawan was consistent for SRH. But in the T20I game, you need explosive openers and KL Rahul presents to you the explosiveness that you require at the top.
Rahul was also the fastest Indian to score centuries in all the three formats and since IPL 2016, has done wonderfully well for himself, to earn a call back into the Indian team. He might partner Rohit Sharma, who will find himself returning to the place of his international debut for India.
Suresh Raina might continue at the no.3 spot for Team India, since winning a Man of the match award in his return series against South Africa and doing well for IPL 2018 champions Chennai Super Kings.
Virat Kohli returns to the team to take back the reigns and his no.4 spot after missing the Nidahas Trophy, injuring his neck and missing the Afghanistan Test and the English County stint. He will be eager to tee off in UK conditions and have a good start to a tour that will become difficult.
MS Dhoni might helm the keeping gloves and the no.5 spot while Dinesh Karthik may receive rewards of his consistent work for India and KKR in recent times. Dhoni was back to his old self in the IPL and it is a much-needed boost to India’s chances of a successful limited-overs tour to the UK.
Karthik did well, winning the Nidahas Trophy, taking KKR to playoffs of IPL 2018 and doing well for India in general in limited overs encounters.
Hardik Pandya might love to feast upon the Irish bowlers, but the swinging and seaming conditions of UK might test his abilities further. He will be expected to repeat his Champions Trophy 2017 performances this time around also.
He might also help Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah in rendering the fast bowling duties for the first T20I against Ireland. Both Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah were given adequate rest after a hectic season which ended with the IPL and both should return with a new gusto and it will be a perfect way for them to warm up for the England series.
Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are expected to perform their duties to bamboozle the Irish batsmen, as they have seldom played spinners of this caliber in the shortest form of the game. It will be a test for both the young wrist spinners to bowl in cold UK conditions.
COC Predicted India XI for the first T20I:
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli (C), MS Dhoni (WK), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal