Ireland came up just short in a colossal run-chase against India during last June’s T20 series and they will be hoping to upset their illustrious visitors in the first T20 international at Malahide Cricket Club.
The opening game of the three-match series starts at 3pm on Friday, 18th August.
Ireland have recalled all-rounders Fionn Hand and Gareth Delany, who has recovered from a broken wrist. Fast bowler Josh Little, who played for Gujarat Titans in this year’s Indian Premier League, is also in the squad.
India fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, sidelined since September 2022 due to back surgery, captains a young squad including batsman Tilak Varma, who made a great impression in his debut international series in the West Indies. Wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson will be hoping to seize his opportunity in the absence of KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan.
India Fall of First Wicket Under 27.5 @ 10/11
India arrive in Ireland after a 3-2 T20 series defeat in the West Indies, where they were hampered by losing early wickets.
Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill put on 165 in the fourth T20 against the Windies but India’s other four opening stands in the series were five, six, six and 16 so Ireland should be confident of making an early breakthrough.
Jaiswal is one of seven members of the squad from the Caribbean who will be involved in the three-match series against Ireland but India have tried various opening combinations in T20 internationals this year without finding a consistent solution.
They have lost their first wicket before the score reached 20 in nine of their last 10 matches, against Sri Lanka, New Zealand and the West Indies, and can expect an awkward test against the new ball under cloudy skies in Dublin.
Josh Little, Ireland’s first IPL star, poses a serious threat and he should be full of confidence after taking seven wickets in four appearances for Manchester Originals in The Hundred.
Lorcan Tucker Ireland Top Run Scorer @ 4/1
Ireland’s batsmen know they can compete with India on home soil, having racked up 221-5, chasing 226 for victory, in the second game of last year’s T20 series at Malahide.
Paul Stirling (40), Andy Balbirnie (60 off 37 balls) and all-rounder George Dockrell (34 not out from just 16 deliveries) all made major contributions that day but wicketkeeper Lorcan Tucker looks the best bet to top-score on Friday.
Tucker warmed up for this series with 133 off 93 balls for Leinster Lightning against North West Warriors in the domestic 50-over competition and he has earned a promotion to number three in the Ireland T20 team.
He smashed an unbeaten 94 against Austria in Edinburgh in July and has also shown his quality against stronger opponents, scoring 78 against South Africa in August 2022 and 71 not out against Australia in Brisbane at last year’s T20 World Cup.