India vs Ireland, T20Is 2022: Hardik Pandya to captain Team India against Ireland; Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson get India call.
Just a week after squaring up the home T20I series against South Africa at a 2-2 scoreline, India are going to take on Ireland for a two-match T20I series starting on June 26 at The Village, Malahide in Dublin.
India must be pretty happy with individual performances throughout the T20I series against South Africa in various departments.
One of the great decisions India took under the guidance of head coach Rahul Dravid in that series was giving players a long run even after losing the first two games; the same eleven players had been fielded in all the five T20Is. Now, their main focus will be giving the youngsters a long run and more chances before the ICC World T20 2022 in Australia.
After the T20I series against Ireland, India are going to play the rescheduled fifth Test of Pataudi Trophy 2021 against England starting on July 1.
A few new faces have been given opportunities to display their capabilities on the short Ireland tour.
The Leadership skills of Hardik Pandya
On the back of a successful Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign where captain Hardik Pandya showcased his masterclass leadership skills by lifting the trophy for Gujarat Titans (GT) in their debut season, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has appointed Hardik as India captain for the Ireland tour.
After collecting a total of 487 runs in just 15 games at a strike rate of 131.27 besides picking up eight wickets at an economy rate of 7.28 in the 15th season of IPL, Hardik Pandya carried his form in the home series against South Africa where he notched up 117 runs in four innings at a strike rate of 153.9. Whenever he got to bat in the series, Hardik exhibited prime form that he has been known for, for a considerable time now.
In India’s tour of Ireland in 2018, Hardik fired up with a nine-ball 32 with one boundary and four sixes in one of the T20Is.
One of the great skills that Hardik presented in his captaincy in IPL was maturity that most of the young captains didn’t have. Even when the opponents were much ahead in the game, he didn’t panic keeping things simple and went according to the plan which helped in cooling down the other players. So, captain Hardik Pandya with head coach VVS Laxman, who has been designated for the job in the absence of Dravid, will love to carry forward India’s form.
Rahul Tripathi- A deserving candidate in India colors
There is hardly a more deserving candidate than Rahul Tripathi for earning a place in the India squad. In the recently concluded IPL 2022, Tripathi cracked 413 runs in just 14 innings at a strike rate of 158.24, with three half-centuries to his name for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
With the big names in the India squad being busy in England preparing for the Edgbaston Test against England, Tripathi will have a great opportunity of making an impression for the national T20I side. He is expected to come at number four in the T20Is, where he will bat in the middle overs and his skills of playing the spinners by using his feet will be really helpful.
Even against pacers, Tripathi has so much time in the world; the pull shots or the cover drives are something that come in his strong zone. It will be interesting to see if he can grab the occasion and make a solid statement before the T20I series in England.
Inconsistent Sanju Samson makes another comeback
Sanju Samson whose profligacy has been well-documented over the years, gets another shot at redemption as he makes another return to the India squad for the Ireland tour. Just like captain Hardik Pandya, Samson too led his franchise Rajasthan Royals (RR) to the IPL 2022 final where they finished as runners-up in the tournament.
In the last two IPL seasons for Rajasthan Royals, Samson has managed to score 942 runs in 31 innings at a strike rate of around 141, with one century and four fifties. Coming at number three position, Samson displayed a new style, especially in the recent tournament.
But because he wasn’t in the team for the home T20Is against South Africa, it can be said that he isn’t in the scheme of things for the ICC World T20 in Australia. But the positive part of the fact is that Samson can play the series without any sort of pressure.
If he comes at number three, he will have a decent amount of time to score some runs. This series might be a great chance for Samson to stabilize his place in the India squad that he has failed to achieve so far.
Apart from these three players, all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer has found his place back in the team after being left out in the home T20I series against South Africa. But given his recent poor record of just 182 runs in 12 innings for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at a strike rate of just 107.69 in IPL 2022, the Indian selectors had taken the right decision to drop him from the side for the matches against South Africa. Also, Ravi Bishnoi too may not get a chance with Yuzvendra Chahal in the side.
When India toured Ireland for two T20Is back in 2018, they clean swept the hosts by a margin of 2-0.