The first T20I between India and Ireland brought no surprises along with It. India were by far the better team and the Virat Kohli led side beat Ireland by 76 runs.
Up next is the second T20 International and here is their probable playing XI for the 2nd T20I against Ireland in Dublin:
Shikhar Dhawan starred with an explosive 74-run knock in the 1st match. 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 started the proceedings for India in the 1st T20I and missed out his century by just 3 runs. 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.
Suresh Raina made the final cut in the last T20I. He was also promoted at one down but failed to leave an impact. Following the rotation policy, KL Rahul will get a game in all likelihood. After the performances that 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.
Manish Pandey got a game ahead of Dinesh Karthik in the 1st T20I. Although he did not get a game, DK is expected to be back in the playing XI. 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.
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 injured his left hand on the final delivery of the 1st T20I against Ireland. Although the injury is not too serious, Bumrah may be rested to to preserve him ahead of the all-important England series.
Umesh Yadav who had an exciting IPL and performed well in the one-off Test against Afghanistan as well, may get a game in Bumrah’s absence. Siddarth Kaul can also be played but Umesh’s chances look brighter.
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 as well with his knuckle balls and slower ones.
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 economically 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.
We saw in the first T20I that the Irish batsmen found it a nightmare picking the variations of Kuldeep. Although it was expected that an extra pacer may play in the pace-bowling friendly conditions in UK, the Indian team now seems to persist with two wrist spinners.