Ireland hammered by India in Malahide

Before departing to England earlier this week the Indian skipper felt not playing county could be a blessing in disguise as a break from the game has refreshed him completely
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30 June, 2018

The Indian team is now playing a two-match T20I series versus Ireland at the Malahide Cricket Ground in Dublin.

It indicated that India's first-choice eleven was functioning properly after a break of three months, and tuning itself for the England tour.

Rahul is expected to walk into the side after his performances in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) season with Kings XI Punjab.

While Raina also provides a sixth bowling option combined with his batting, India would also not want to drop Karthik, who is in sizzling form since March. It could mean that Pandey eventually warms the bench, despite scoring 255 runs in 8 T20Is this year against South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at an average of 85.

Going into the second match, Kohli had hinted at making a few changes in the middle order to give everyone game-time so they could acclimatise to the conditions.

Since the 2017 Champions Trophy, India have played 32 ODIs and 18 T20Is, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah handling the new ball in 26 ODIs and 9 T20Is, respectively.

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India achieved a comfortable victory in the first T20 worldwide against Ireland on Wednesday.

It's a rare occasion when the former Indian skipper had to sit out despite being in the squad.

India likely XI for 2nd T20I: KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Siddarth Kaul, Yuzvendra Chahal.

On the other hand, Ireland side will look to hit back.

Ireland crumbled in reply, with skipper Gary Wilson (15), William Porterfield (14), Stuart Thompson (13) and Boyd Rankin (10) the only players to reach double figures as India spinners Kuldeep Yadav (3-16) and Yuzvendra Chahal (3-21) ran amok on a sun-kissed evening. A busy period of T20 internationals sees 13 matches being played around the world over the next two weeks.

After it leaves Ireland, India has three T20I matches against England before facing the Englishmen in both ODIs and Test series.


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