India is hoping for clear weather and better performances from rookies like Umran Malik when it collides with Ireland in the second and final T20 in Dublin’s Malahide on Tuesday. The rain had reduced the series opener to 12 overs per side game and it could well be another shortened game given the rather bleak forecast for matchday. Ruturaj Gaikwad was unable to start on Sunday due to a calf problem and he could be the only change in the playing 11 if the opener doesn’t come fully fit.
With a full roster set to play against England in the T20s next month, the final against Ireland offers the younger players another chance to show what they are capable of.
Pace sensation Umran Malik will be one of those eager to make an impact. It’s not fair to judge him by the only over he threw on Sunday, but he was all over the place, indicating that nerves got the better of him.
It was the sixth left in the innings, the ball was relatively new and 22-year-old Harry Tector took full advantage of Malik’s extra pace.
Skipper Hardik Pandya has already indicated that Malik is better off bowling with an old ball, which means that he only comes into play after the power play.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is likely to be another problem for Ireland’s batters as the conditions help him move the ball either way. Avesh Khan was not on target in the death overs and he will be looking for a better performance.
The Indian bowlers will be wary of the threat from Tector. The Irish batter attracted a lot of attention with his fearless play in the first T20 after his team ran into problems.
Some of the shots he played were even praised by the Indian players. Another explosive punch to the game’s powerhouse can help Tector land a life-changing IPL contract.
“Some of the shots he played were stunning,” noted Hardik after the seven-wicket win.
Ireland would take great courage from the way they fought back with the bat, but their bowlers will have to up their game against a formidable batting formation.
The pacers couldn’t find the right length at the beginning of the turns, so the Indians easily set boundaries.
Craig Young got the ball swinging and stitching and his fellow fast bowlers would be inspired by him to put on a better show against the mighty Indians. It is not every day that they play against a team like India and they would like to take the opportunity.
Hardik and Hooda, who did well as an impromptu opener in Gaikwad’s absence, took aim at off-spinner Andy McBrine in the over who yielded 21 runs. After learning a hard lesson, McBrine would look for ways to curb the right-handers.
Suryakumar Yadav’s return to international cricket after injury lasted only one ball and he will aim to get back to his regular habits.
india: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Patelmran Singh .
Ireland: Andrew Balbirnie (Captain), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Stephen Doheny, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Conor Olphert, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young.
Match starts 9pm IST.