IRE v IND, 2018, 1st T20I: Ireland Probable XI

IRE v IND, 2018, 1st T20I: Ireland Probable XI

The hosts will be hoping for an upset as both sides face-off in Dublin.

Ireland players
Ireland players. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India’s tour of England is just about to commence. India will play 3 T20Is, 3 ODIs and 5 Tests against England starting this July. However, just before this rigorous tour will begin, India will visit Ireland for a short duration. The Indian team will face Ireland in two T20I games.

Both the games will be played at ‘The Village’ in Dublin. The series brings in some great excitement as Ireland has been playing some great cricket in the recent times. They defeated England in a high-scoring ODI game recently. However, it will not be any easy for Ireland to defeat a strong team like India. They will have to work really hard in order to achieve the desired result. Ireland named a 14-member squad for this series. Although it is tough predicting their XI, here is what could be a possibility.

Here is Ireland’s probable XI for the 1st T20I against India:

Openers – Paul Stirling, William Porterfield

Paul Stirling is a very attacking right-handed batsman. He has been opening for Ireland in ODIs and T20Is for quite some time now. Stirling provides the side with some great starts. Although he bats in the middle order for Middlesex in county cricket, he is highly likely to open here. He has been playing for over a decade now and is very experienced. His strike rate in T20Is in 137 which is great for an opener. He also doubles up as a decent off-spinner.

William Porterfield is one of the most experienced players in the Ireland squad. He has led the team at almost all the levels. Porterfield was a part of many memorable wins in Ireland cricket. He has played 58 T20I games for Ireland and scored over 1000 T20I runs. He will open the innings along with Paul Stirling.

Middle Order – Andrew Balbirnie, Gary Wilson(c)(wk), Simi Singh, Stuart Poynter

Andrew Balbirnie is another player who is making a name for himself in international cricket. Although he hasn’t proved with full potential with the bat as yet, he would be itching to do so on this huge platform against a team like India. The 27-year-old has scored 161 runs in 11 T20I games at an average of 17. Simi Singh, who is an Indian born Irish cricketer will be the other player in the middle order. He has scored his T20I runs at a strike-rate of 150 so far and also can bowl a bit.

Andrew Balbirnie will be assisted by the 32-year-old Gary Wilson in the middle order. Gary is one of the most experienced players in the side. He is also the captain of the team and doubles up as the wicket-keeper. In 57 T20I games that he has played thus far, Gary has scored 1,019 runs at an average of 24 and strike rate of 106. Stuart Poynter is a wicket-keeper batsman who will take up the role of a pure batsman in the side. He has scored 168 runs in 18 games at a strike rate of 106.

All Rounders – Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Thompson

Kevin O’Brien is one of the most famous names in Ireland cricket and easily is the most experienced player in the side. He is highly capable both with the bat as well as the ball. In 62 T20I games so far, Kevin has scored 756 runs at a strike-rate of almost 120. He can clear the ropes with ease and has also picked 54 wickets so far. He bowls at a decent economy which is just over 7.

Stuart Thompson is a left-handed aggressive batsman. He can hit the boundaries easily and can be used as the floater in the side. Thompson has scored 199 runs in 23 T20Is with the highest score of 56. He has also picked 8 wickets and his economy rate is just under 8.

Bowlers – Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Boyd Rankin

Peter Chase is a hard-working but erratic right-arm fast medium bowler. The 24-year-old is quite new to international cricket. He is expected to take the new ball in the side. He has played only two T20Is thus far and is yet to pick up an international T20 wicket. Rankin will be assisted by the 6 feet 7-inch tall fast bowler, Boyd Rankin. Rankin generates some good pace and has picked 28 wickets in 27 games. His economy of 6.28 is very good.

George Dockrell will take up the role of the spinner in this side. The left arm orthodox bowler is ranked 19 in the ICC Bowler Rankings. Dockrell has picked 58 wickets in 49 T20 international games so far and his economy rate is just 6.51.