Friday, June 21, 2024

T20 World Cup: India begin campaign vs Ireland with aim of victorious send-off for Rahul Dravid

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India take on Ireland in their opening match of the T20 World Cup on Wednesday.

Rohit Sharma’s India will have to work cut out in the T20 World Cup. Photo: @BCCI

New Delhi: Now that Rahul Dravid has confirmed his exit as head coach after the conclusion of the T20 World Cup, India would aim to give him a triumphant farewell.

It could also be the last time skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli don the Indian jersey in a major T20I event, so they would have added motivation to win a major ICC trophy that they have failed to grasp since 2013.

Ireland are not expected to pose much of a challenge in their tournament opener in New York. But they would have to begin on a strong foot to set the tempo for the rest of the tournament.

A convincing performance would also assure those who think the team is not fully prepared due to the tournament scheduled so close to IPL 2024.

It would also put to rest to those who have asked whether they have chosen the right 15-member squad and make the team confident of facing traditional rivals Pakistan on June 9 at the same venue.

Testing conditions

Apart from Ireland, India would also have to be mindful of the playing conditions of the Nassau County Ground, where matches will be held on a drop-pitch and a slow outfield.

If the initial matches are anything to go by, run-making won’t be smooth as the ball won’t come on to the bat, which could make it difficult for India’s stroke makers.

Getting the playing combination correct would be a task for Dravid and skipper Rohit Sharma as would be choosing his opening partner and batting order.

With four spinners in their ranks on a sluggish track, India would look at their spinners to throttle Ireland but must get their combination and playing XI spot on as there is not much room for error in this tournament.

Teams (from):

India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Siraj, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson, Yuzvendra Chahal.

Ireland: Paul Stirling (captain), Mark Adair, Ross Adair, Andy Balbirnie, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Graham Hume, Josh Little*, Barry McCarthy, Neil Rock (wk), Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Ben White, Craig Young.

Match begins at 8 pm.

Telecast on Star Sports Network and streaming on Disney+Hotstar

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