India eye series win, batters more time in the middle
India took the lead in the three-match series against Ireland after rain intervened. The second T20I is expected to be played under clear weather.
Jasprit Bumrah was the prime focus in the first T20I against Ireland on Friday. The seamer returned to action after 11 months, six months after surgery, and took two wickets in an over for a sensational start. Now that’s out of the way, the focus can return on the Indian batting with a larger aim of sealing the series.
The first T20I was interrupted by rain and gloomy conditions didn’t allow the Indian batting to get a proper outing. Weather is expected to be better for the second T20I and the middle order would be keen on proving itself.
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Yashasvi Jaiswal played 39 of the 41 balls India batted in the first T20I before rain arrived. In the second T20I, the likes of Gaikwad, Rinku Singh, Shivam Dube and Sanju Samson will be keen on making an impact. The larger picture, for the entire squad, is the T20 World Cup next year.
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For wicketkeeper-batter Samson, his experience stands tall in the absence of Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill and Hardik Pandya. Additionally, there is a short term goal for him with the Asia Cup squad to be announced on Monday.
With conditions playing a vital role, toss can be crucial – as Ravi Bishnoi said in the post-match press conference – and India would hope to come out on top once again.
Ireland will hope to do better than the first T20I where they lost two wickets in the opening over and were 59/6 at one stage. Barry McCarthy’s fifty salvaged some pride for Ireland and took them to 139/7.
The hosts will aim to do better with the top order against a quality Indian bowling if they want to level the series. Andrew Balbirnie, Paul Stirling and Lorcan Tucker will have to step up to give India a run for their money.
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