Ireland vs India, T20Is: Things we learned from the two matches in Dublin
The Indians were clinical and classy in the series against Ireland.
Updated - Jul 1, 2018 7:26 pm
The India cricket team could not have asked for a better start in their tour of UK. The 2-0 sweep over Ireland in a one-sided affair saw the side get a good outing ahead of the limited-over series against England. India play 3 T20Is and the same number of ODI games against an in-form England starting July 3.
What will please skipper Virat Kohli is that the team showed composure in all three departments as they made use of the two matches to get many things sharpened. The biggest onus was the batting where India amassed 200+ scores in both the games. The bowling too looked sharp especially the wrist spinners working in tandem.
Kohli knows he has the side to trouble England, who have been fantastic in 2018. One would have hoped the Irish to have provided more fight and steel, but that did not happen. India showed how dangerous they are in the T20 format and the balance of the team is well maintained. Overall full marks to the Indians for not taking the matches lightly and being on song.
Here are the five things we learned from the two-match T20I series which India won by 76 and 143 runs respectively in Dublin
1. Raina looks a settled asset at number 3
The series against South Africa and then the Nidahas Trophy was of massive help to Raina in terms of getting accustomed to the number three position. And against Ireland he once again capitalised after having spent a crucial time on the pitch. The 69-run innings in the 2nd T20I will serve him well for the upcoming series against England. Raina once again showed that he is the best best to lay a foundation upfront besides also accelerating when it matters. He played with a lot of gusto there were some vintage-Raina shots enroute a fine half-century. His experience in the format is of massive help to the Indian side.
2. KL Rahul provides a headache
One will feel an in-form KL Rahul provides a headache for the Indian team at the moment as per selection is concerned. But it is a good headache to have. Rahul, who didn’t play the first T20I, was allowed to open the innings in the 2nd and he took his chance with open arms. His 36-ball 70 was a special treat for the 8000 odd fans in the stadium. In this series, the trio of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Rahul all scored magnificent half-centuries to stake their claim. Although Dhawan and Rohit is the likely pair to open against England, leaving out Rahul is such a difficult choice. He is a stellar act up the order.
3. Kohli’s has little time to rectify rustiness
0 and 9 is what Kohli got in both the matches. It’s fair to say that in the first game he came at a time when one had no chance but to accelerate, but the 2nd T20I was the perfect platform for Kohli to get some runs. But the skipper did not quite manage to have a say after departing cheaply. The 29-year-old missed out on competitive cricket for a month since the IPL with a neck injury and now he has little time to get accustomed quickly in English conditions. Kohli will likely come in at number 4 and is the essential factor in the middle-order.
4. Experimentation gives India knowledge
In the first match MS Dhoni came in at number 4 ahead of Kohli and as per what the situation demanded it was a right move. Dhoni slammed a brisk 11 and what it shows is that against England he might be promoted higher as per what the game demands. Dhoni is the perfect finisher in the side and Kohli knows he has to use him wisely. Also it was another good move by the team to have Rahul and Kohli open the innings in the 2nd T20I. Kohli may not have got the runs, but the idea to spend some essential time in the middle was a good ploy. The introduction of Hardik Pandya ahead of Dinesh Karthik shows the depth they have down the middle-order.
5. Wrist spinners are India’s main weapon
13 wickets in two games is what the duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav enjoyed. The duo ran through the Ireland middle and lower order to give skipper Virat Kohli the confidence to keep attacking. The duo were superb against South Africa earlier in the year and come England, they will be having a real go. The variety and consistency is something the Indian team is enjoying from them and one should laud them for their efforts. Their idea of going for wickets served them well in both the games. The pitch too assisted them largely.