The limited-overs squad, led by skipper Virat Kohli, departed for Dublin from London on Tuesday. The Indians had been training at the Merchant Taylor’s school in London since Monday after arriving in England for their 11-week tour of the UK and Ireland.
Off to Ireland with someone photobombing behind us! 😂👍 pic.twitter.com/W7z729cq2d— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) June 26, 2018
Hours later, the BCCI posted images of the Indian team arriving in Dublin.
Both the T20Is between Ireland and India will be held at the Malahide Cricket Club ground in Dublin with the second match taking place on June 29.
Following the completion of the T20I series against the Irish, team India will return to London to resume their England leg of the tour. There, Kohli’s men will play a three-match T20 series which will be followed by as many ODIs.
The Indian will then complete their tour of the UK with the five-match Test series against hosts England which will culminate in the second week of September.
Karnataka batsman Agarwal proved once again that the Indian selectors have missed a trick by not giving him a shot in the senior team by smashing his third century in four games as India ‘A’ amassed 309-6 against England Lions in the tri-series on Tuesday.
Agarwal hit 112 from 104 balls to help India put up a challenging total. It came after knocks of 112 against the West Indies ‘A’ and 151 not out against Leicestershire in a warm-up game.
Gill too was in fine fettle on Tuesday as he scored his third fifty in four matches.
The India U19 World Cup winning star started the tour of England with 86 in a warm-up game against Leicestershire followed by 37 in the opening game of the tri-series against England Lions.
His picked up in the next game against the West Indies A, hitting an unbeaten 58 and then topped it by scoring 72 against the Lions on Tuesday.
Gill added 165 for the opening wicket with Agarwal as the Indians scored 309-6 in their 50 overs.
Agarwal’s knock included 10 fours and four sixes while Gill’s innings had ten fours and one six.
The form of the two batsmen gives the Indian management a lot of options during the long tour of England. With seamer Deepak Chahar in red-hot form, picking up five wickets in the last game, those in the senior team will have to be on top of their game or else these hopefuls will storm their way into the team
The Malahide Cricket Club ground at The Village will be the setting of the two T20 internationals in what will be India’s first visit to the ground.
Virat Kohli’s men arrived at London on Sunday before holding a training session at the Merchant Taylor’s school ahead of their visit to Dublin for the two T20 clashes against the hosts.
CHANCE FOR INDIA TO SHARPEN UP
The Ireland leg kickstarts what will be a long and grueling summer in the UK for Kohli’s men. The side are due to take on England in three T20s, three ODIs and five Tests following their engagements in Ireland.
While all eyes will be on how the Indians fare in England, the two T20s against Ireland provides them with the perfect opportunity to get into the groove before hitting English shores.
This will be only the second time that India are touring Ireland. The side had previously visited Ireland in 2007 where they had played a sole ODI in Belfast. The two sides have locked horns four times in the past (three ODIs and one T20) with India winning on all occasions.
IRELAND’S T20 WOES
While Ireland gave a great account of themselves in their inaugural Test against Pakistan after becoming the 11th full member of the ICC, their form in the shortest-format of the game does not inspire much confidence. Ranked 17th in the format, Ireland were in the news recently when they became a part of the first-ever tied match in T20I history during a tri-series in Netherlands.
The Irish side last won a T20 bilateral series in 2015-16 when they beat Papua New Guinea 2-1. Since then, they have not won a single T20 bilateral series or tournament and even slumped to defeat at home to Hong Kong in 2016.
In the recent T20I tri-series in Netherlands, Gary Wilson’s men could only muster one win from four clashes.
KL RAHUL’S CHANCE TO SHINE
The Ireland series provides the perfect platform for KL Rahul to stamp his authority in India limited-overs setup after being in and out of the side over the last year. The Karnataka opener has worked himself back into contention after a stupendous campaign with Kings XI Punjab in the IPL where he scored 659 runs in 14 innings at an average of nearly 55.
That form saw Rahul recalled to the Test setup in India’s one-off clash against Afghanistan in Bengaluru and the right-hander made it count with a sparkling half-century. He will be hoping to put on a similar show against the Irish to cement his place in the Indian side before the England leg of the tour begins.
IRELAND: Paul Stirling, James Shannon, William Porterfield, Andy Balbirnie, Simranjit Singh, Gary Wilson (captain), Kevin O’Brien, Stuart Poynter (wk), George Dockrell, Stuart Thompson, Boyd Rankin
INDIA: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (captain), KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal