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Will Tripathi, Umran Make India Debut?

By NORMA ASTRID GODINHO
Last updated on: June 24, 2022 17:30 IST
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IMAGE: Hardik Pandya will lead India for the first time in an international game. Photograph: BCCI

With the T20 World Cup in four months' time, India get an opportunity to test their second string when they meet Ireland in a two-match T20I series, starting in Dublin on Sunday, June 26, 2022.

This will be an interesting series with Hardik Pandya helming the team for the first time in international cricket, while, in the absence of regular Head Coach Rahul Dravid, who is in England with the Test team, V V S Laxman takes over as the gaffer.

Picking an XI against minnows is always a tricky affair and there certainly is a task on hand for Hardik and Laxman.

India is likely to open with the tested pair of Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad as they did in the South Africa T20Is.

Sanju Samson gets another go in this series, and it's an opportunity he'll have to grab with both hands if he has to board that plane to Australia for the World Cup.

He will be fighting for a place in the middle order with the trusted Suryakumar Yadav who returns from a forearm injury.

SKY has been top-notch in India colours and the show he put up during his limited time in IPL 2022 (303 runs at an average of 43.29, which included three half-centuries) makes him a surety in the Playing XI.

The only new face in the team, Rahul Tripathi, will be vying for a place along with SKY and Deepak Hooda.

Hooda wasn't picked in any of the matches in the South Africa T20Is with Shreyas Iyer being the obvious pick, but an opportunity looks imminent for the Rajasthan batter in Dublin. A spot at No 3 or 4 could be Hooda's calling.

In-form Dinesh Karthik is the obvious choice lower down the order, and along with Hardik , he is billed highly to put on performance with his finishing act. Another superb show in Dublin could just confirm his place for the mega event Down Under.

Vice-captain Bhuvneshwar Kumar will lead the attack in what is expected to be seam friendly conditions. He will have the fiery Avesh Khan and the ever-dependable Harshal Patel to help knock over the Irish batting.

Whether Hardik and Laxman give pace sensation Umran Malik his India debut against the lower-ranked opponents is anybody's guess.

Who do you think should be part of India's playing XI for Sunday's first T20I against Ireland?

Please select your team from the list below and do post your playing XI in the message board below:

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NORMA ASTRID GODINHO

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