The Village, Malahide Cricket Club, Dublin
June 29, Friday; 20:30 IST
Live on SPN, streaming on Sony Liv
The main picture
Nothing other than the playing combination India went in with, was surprising about the first T20I, which the visitor won comfortably by 76 runs. That a batsman who had scored 659 runs in IPL 2018 and a batsman who singlehandedly won India the Nidahas Trophy final couldn’t find places in the XI tells you the depth and the fierce competition for places in the current Indian side, albeit the team management continues to provide major surprises in terms of selection.
The two T20Is against the Irish were always likely to act as a preparation for India for the forthcoming limited-overs series against England. But Ireland will have expected more of themselves with the bat at least. The bowling attack, which significantly lacks in ammunition and is pedestrian, was likely to struggle against a strong Indian top order. And the result of the match was likely to come down to how Ireland bowled.
Therefore, looking ahead to the second T20I, Ireland’s chances of beating India will depend on how their bowlers fare. The decision to bat first on Wednesday wasn’t a wrong tactic entirely, though the Irish batting lacked the firepower and the nous of playing spin, to get close to India’s 208/5. Should Gary Wilson win the toss again, you can expect Ireland to bat first and try to post a sizeable total on the board. That way, their bowlers might be able to challenge the Indian batsmen by using the scoreboard pressure.
Pitch conditions and weather forecast
The pitch for the first T20I was batsman-friendly and its nature is unlikely to change for the second T20I on Friday, particularly with the weather being good.
The weather forecast says Friday should be sunny with a maximum of 24 degree Celsius.
India vs Ireland past T20I record
Wednesday’s T20I was the second between India and Ireland, the former currently holding a 2-0 head to head record.
India vs Ireland probable playing XI
One possible change for the Irish on the bowling front might well be the uncapped Joshua Little replacing Stuart Thompson. The rest of the playing XI might well remain the same.
The probable Ireland XI: 1 Gary Wilson (c), 2 James Shannon, 3 Paul Stirling, 4 Andrew Balbirnie, 5 Kevin O’Brien, 6 Stuart Poynter (wk), 7 Simi Singh, 8 George Dockrell, 9 Boyd Rankin, 10 Joshua Little, 11 Peter Chase
Having seen a collective performance from the team on Wednesday, the Indian think-tank will have difficulty in leaving any player out. India’s playing XI may not change much from Wednesday. If anything, the bowling attack might be altered a touch if Washington Sundar, who missed the first T20I with an injury, is fit and if the management decide to bring in Umesh Yadav or Siddarth Kaul for the two premier fast bowlers.
Probable India playing 11: 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Suresh Raina 4 Virat Kohli (c), 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Manish Pandey, 8 Kuldeep Yadav/Washington Sundar, 9 Yuzvendra Chahal, 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar/Umesh Yadav, 11 Jasprit Bumrah/Siddarth Kaul
India, no matter what team they put on, will be difficult to beat and the onus really is on the Irish to raise their game.