India pacer Siddarth Kaul enjoyed a fine debut in the second T20 against Ireland on Friday, finishing with figures of 1-4 from two overs in Dublin.
The 28-year-old Kaul was among the wicket-takers as India dismissed Ireland for 70 while defending 213-4, which resulted in a 143-run win – the joint second biggest in T20 history.
It was a proud moment for Kaul, who made his India debut 11 years after his maiden first-class match.
Kaul was rewarded for a fine season for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2018. Kaul finished with 21 wickets from 17 matches with an economy of 8.2 for the Sunrisers. His clever variations, a highly deceptive knuckle ball and ability to crank up the pace caught the attention of the senior management resulting in an India call-up.
And after his memorable debut, Kaul thanked Sunrisers coach Tom Moody for his guidance.
“Whatever heights I will achieve in life, will always be indebted to you,” Kaul wrote on Twitter while thanking Moody.
India thrashed Ireland by 143 runs on Friday – their biggest T20 win to complete a 2-0 series whitewash. On both occasions, they scored more than 200 and the Indian captain says those games were ideal preparation.
“We wanted to go into the (England) series with all the guys having a hit and all the bowlers making a contribution so, I’m happy with the batting performances in both innings,” said Kohli.
“Everyone is batting so well, but it’s a good problem to have. Anyone who has been given a chance has grabbed it with both hands and that’s something that’s good for any side and our bench strength is shown in these type of games.
“It’s a great phase that India cricket is going through and I’m happy to see all these young guys taking their chances.”
India will now travel to England for the three-match T20 series which begins on Tuesday. While Kohli admits England will be a sterner test, he is confident his charges have the quality to upstage them.
“The opposition doesn’t matter,” he said.
“We focus on our strengths so if they come hard we have the batting power to go hard as well, plus we have two wrist spinners in our attack which will be an added advantage we feel.”
“If we play at the best possible intensity, it’s going to be an exciting and competitive series and one we’re looking forward to. England are a quality side but we have belief in our quality and back the positives when we go on the field.
“The players have accepted their responsibilities and for me as a captain that’s really pleasing to see. We can call on anyone at any stage to give their best effort. In fact everyone wants to have a go at the opposition, they want game time, so the credit has to go their players and it takes the load off myself and the management.”
India are in second position in the ICC T20 rankings after a thumping 143-run win over Ireland in the second T20 on Friday.
Pakistan are the top-ranked side in T20s with 131 points and before the T20 clashes involving top-ranked teams started this week, Australia were second on 126 points, India third on 123 and England fifth on 115 points.
However, after England defeated Australia in the one-off T20 the scenario changed.
Australia slipped to third position on 122 points, which meant India on 123 points automatically moved up to second.
India’s next assignment is the three-match T20 series against England and even if they sweep that series, they can reach a maximum of 127 points which is not enough to dislodge Pakistan from the top spot.
For that to happen, Pakistan need to have a poor tri-series involving Australia starting in Zimbabwe on Sunday and lose to Zimbabwe.
Pakistan, meanwhile, can consolidate their position at the top of table by reaching 136 points if they win all their four league matches in the tri-series and a final featuring Australia.