The wait is finally over as India gear up for their 1st T20I against Ireland. This would be the first match of the long UK tour as the fans would get a taste of some riveting international cricket.
India are playing a T20 International after a long time and here is their probable playing XI for the 1st T20I against Ireland in Dublin:
Shikhar Dhawan had a great run of form in IPL where he started the innings for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Although he did not have a break out season, he played some really good knocks.
Dhawan looked in fine touch in the one-off Test against Afghanistan played from the 14th of June at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. Dhawan slammed a century in the first session of the first day of the match, becoming the first Indian to do so.
Along with Dhawan, regular opener Rohit Sharma will start the proceedings for India. Rohit had a very bad IPL season and the Mumbaikar was not timing the ball at all.
Before the UK tour, there was a lot of controversy surrounding his selection in the team as he was not available for the decided date of the Yo-Yo test. However, after much delay he finally appeared for the test and passed it. This helped him to straight away board the flight for the UK tour.
Virat Kohli is back from his neck injury and will walk into the Indian side. In the recent times, he has shown a tendency to bat at the top of the order but many believe that his game is most suited at one down.
Kohli will provide stability to the side at No 3. At the same time, he will try to accelerate with his typical controlled aggression.
After the performances that KL Rahul put up in the IPL, it would be very hard to sideline him. The Karnataka lad is in fine form and slammed a half century in the one-off test against Afghanistan as well. He will probably come to bat at number 4.
Dinesh Karthik/ Suresh Raina
Remember the last time Dinesh Karthik played in a T20I for India, it was the Nidahas trophy final and he finished the game with a match-winning six. Karthik has been stellar in the IPL as well.
It was very unfortunate that Karthik got run out in the Test match against Afghanistan but he presents a very strong case for selection in the team. Karthik can be instrumental for the balance of the side.
On the other hand, Suresh Raina made a comeback in the series against South Africa. He did not perform exceedingly well but he has done enough to maintain a place in the team.
Being a left hander and having lots of experience are the two things that go in his favour. He may be promoted up the order to give an impetus to the side.
WICKET-KEEPER AND ALL-ROUNDER
MS Dhoni would be an automatic selection for the team. He would take his place behind the stumps and also assume his role of a finisher.
Dhoni has shown signs of coming back to his explosive best in the IPL and if he can carry forward that form, it would be great for India.
Hardik Pandya is Virat Kohli’s favourite and would probably get a chance in the playing XI as a bowling allrounder. If Pandya can give the team some economical overs and can come in the lower order to propel the score of the team, he would have done his job.
Jasprit bumrah is currently the number one ODI bowler and his variations make him a very dangerous T20 bowler as well.
Bumrah may not have had terrific first half of the IPL but he came to his own in the second half where he took a lot of wickets bowling economically. He will probably bowl a couple of overs at the outset and couple of overs
at the death.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is a champion of swing bowling. In conditions that assist him, he would be a very lethal weapon.
He would take the new ball for India and try to nick a few off. He is equally good at the death and will form a great bowling partnership with Bumrah.
Yuzvendra Chahal is a crafty leg spinner and mixes his googlies and topspin as well along with the leg spin.
He is not afraid of flighting the ball. He becomes all the more dangerous when the batsmen try to go after him. Chahal not only bowls economicaly but also gives the much required breakthroughs in the middle overs.
Kuldeep Yadav will have a place in the side for his mystery spin. Even those batsmen who regularly play him find it hard to pick him.
So, one can easily make out that the Irish batsmen who have not faced Kuldeep till now and must have only seen footage of him, would have a nightmare picking his variations.