Top 5 Key Indian players for the T20I series against Ireland
As the ICC Cricket World Cup is arching closer, the Indian cricket team has been trying all the different combinations for improved results. From experienced veterans to young stars, a vast variety of players are getting chances in the playing XI in different tours across the globe.
After the test series and first ODI match against the West Indies, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma were rested by the coaching staff, and Hardik Pandya was given the responsibility to lead the Men in Blue. Consequently, a young Indian team was given a chance against the Caribbean representatives.
Thus, with a few more changes in the team, the Indian cricket team will tour Ireland for a three-match T20I series under the captaincy of a returning Jasprit Bumrah. The squad was announced in the last few days of the last month as it also includes a few players who will represent the subcontinent in the forthcoming 2023 Asian Games.
Jitesh Sharma, Rinku Singh, and Shivam Dube got called up for the nation following their magnificent performance in the Indian Premier League. Nevertheless, the result of the series will be crucial for the Indian team as they’ll look forward to attaining reliable momentum ahead of the upcoming World Cup. Hence, let’s take a look at the top five key players that can play a major role in India’s tour of Ireland.
#5 Tilak Varma
Tilak Varma is the proper textbook middle-order batter that every captain wants to have on their side. The left-handed batter impressed the selectors with his brilliant batting display in the IPL for Mumbai Indians. As a result, he eventually grasped a spot in the Indian team and it’s fair to say that he has been prolific for the Men in Blue thus far.
Varma also gave a set of praiseworthy performances in the series between India and the West Indies. Thus, jetting off to Europe, he is expected to have an upper hand on the likes of other middle-order batters, Rinku, Jitesh, and Dube.
Moreover, with regular chances in the Indian team, Varma can emerge as a limited-overs specialist for the Indian cricket team because he has been consistently performing well at home as well as on overseas pitches.
#4 Ruturaj Gaikwad
Eyebrows were raised when Ruturaj Gaikwad was named the vice-captain of the Indian team ahead of experienced wicket-keeper batter, Sanju Samson, who leads the Rajasthan Royals franchise in the IPL. Thus, the opening batter will have to overcome various doubts in the upcoming T20I series against Ireland.
Gaikwad dominated the 2023 Indian Premier League campaign alongside Devon Conway and helped Chennai Super Kings add another title to their arsenal. Gaikwad will have to play a similar role for the Men in Blue as they’ll take on the Irish in a three-T20I series.
The 26-year-old also leads the Maharashtra team in T20 and List A cricket. Interestingly, he was also a part of India’s tour of Ireland, which take took place last year and has the desired experience required to face Ireland.
#3 Yashasvi Jaiswal
Yashasvi Jaiswal never fails to impress the selectors as well as the spectators. After hammering bowlers in IPL and breaking a couple of records, the opening batter made his international debut against the West Indies in July.
During his first international test match, he shared partnerships with the likes of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli as he completed his maiden century in the first innings of his debut match.
Thus, the youngster has already managed to become extremely reliable in the eyes of the Indian selectors. However, his name was overlooked behind the likes of Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan in the ongoing T20I series against the Caribbean representatives. Hence, he can potentially leave a significant impact on India’s tour of Ireland, where he’ll be opening the batting with vice-captain Gaikwad.
#2 Ravi Bishnoi
Ravi Bishnoi has all the traits that are required to become a top spinner in any team but is lacking in terms of International exposure. He had a great T20 season with Lucknow Supergiants as he took 16 wickets in 14 innings.
With Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal occupied in the preparations for the upcoming Asia Cup and the World Cup, Bishnoi will be having a crucial role in the series. Alongside Bishnoi, the likes of Washington Sundar and Shahbaz Ahmed have also been called up for the three-match series.
Moreover, in order to become a part of the playing XI regularly, Bishnoi has to capitalize on the requirement of depth in the batting line-up which has been a long occurring issue for the Men in Blue. Thus, in addition to his bowling prowess, he’ll have to flourish on the Irish grounds with his batting strokes.
Consequently, the right-arm leg-break bowler was also a part of the Ireland series that took place last year, where Hardik Pandya led the Men in Blue to a 2-0 victory.
#1 Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah was India’s premier fast bowler until last year when he suffered a major back injury. Thus, earlier this year, in March, the 29-year-old went through a successful back surgery in New Zealand. Later, he went to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru for rehabilitation under the guidance of Indian legend, VVS Laxman.
The Ireland series has been chosen for Bumrah’s much-awaited comeback in order to prove his fitness for the major tournaments to be played later in 2023. In addition to that, he has been named the captain of the Indian team, which is a huge thing because fast bowlers are never seen as ideal leaders because of their high possibility of getting injured.
During his hiatus, the Men in Blue suffered from significant issues in pace bowling and depth. Rahul Dravid tried different bowling combinations as well as bowlers to find something reliable. Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh turned out to be the saviors for a short period. However, the majority of the attempts made by the Indian team were in vain.
Hence, Bumrah’s return to the playing XI ahead of the upcoming cricket World Cup will give a major boost to Rohit Sharma’s side as the lethal pacer has always managed to live up to the expectations of the Indian team and fans.