KL Rahul likely to open India's innings and other team news ahead of second T20I against Ireland

Sudhir Gupta 29/06/2018
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Rahul is expected to replace Rohit Sharma according to reports.

After winning the first T20I against Ireland by 76 runs, India will look to experiment with their line-up when they take on the hosts in the second and final clash at Dublin on Friday.

India skipper Virat Kohli opted to not use in-form KL Rahul and Dinesh Karthik in the first T20. India instead, opted to go with Manish Pandey and Suresh Raina in the middle-order.

However, expect changes on Friday with Kohli confirming that those on teh bench will get a chance.

After the win on Wednesday, the India skipper has said: “We have already announced that apart from the opening combination we are going to do a lot of experiments in the middle order. We are going to be flexible in the next few T20s.

“We will look to throw in guys when the situation requires them to come in and try to surprise the opposition. It presents the opportunity for the batsmen who couldn’t get the opportunity to bat. The guys who couldn’t get a chance today will get an opportunity in the next match.”

Rahul had missed out in the first T20 despite being in-form.

Rahul had missed out in the first T20 despite being in-form.

Expect both Rahul and Karthik to feature in the second T20 with murmurs that opener Rohit Sharma could be given a rest. Manish Pandey is expected to make way for Karthik while Rahul should don the opener’s hat.

Spin all-rounder Washington Sundar remains a doubt for the game after suffering an ankle injury on the eve of the first T20I while Umesh Yadav is likely to feature. With Jasprit Bumrah injuring his thumb during the first T20I, Kohli might be tempted to give the pacer a rest and bring in either Umesh or uncapped Siddharth Kaul.

Wrist-spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal snared seven wickets between them in Wednesday’s win and are expected to retain their place for the clash.

INDIA LIKELY XI

Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (captain), Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal

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India's Kuldeep Yadav getting familiar to English conditions after four-wicket haul against Ireland

Sudhir Gupta 28/06/2018
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Confident: Kuldeep Yadav

Kuldeep Yadav has only played one match of India’s tour of UK but he feels he is already adjusting to conditions ahead of their series against England.

Yadav took four wickets against Ireland in their 76-run win on Wednesday and can add to that total when the nations meet again on Friday in Dublin.

The two-match series will be followed by a full series against England where they will play three ODIs and T20Is as well as five Tests.

“Conditions here seem to be normal. I haven’t seen too much difference (from other overseas tours),” the spinner was quoted as saying. “Perhaps wickets are a bit slower and the ball is turning. I felt normal (in practice and in the game), and didn’t feel that it has been something new.

“The weather is a bit colder and conditions are different from India. But it was easy to adjust and for me it is a normal thing. After one game you cannot say how wickets will be throughout the tour. This one had a little turn and the ball was turning, but as we play more matches on this tour, maybe the wickets in England will be different,” he added.

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India to keep on experimenting with batting order line-up in T20 matches, says Virat Kohli

Sudhir Gupta 28/06/2018
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India's Shikhar Dhawan gave a good start for India

Virat Kohli has warned England they will have to keep guessing on what their batting order will be after India’s T20 victory over Ireland on Wednesday.

India opened their T20 series against the Irish with a 78-run victory in Dublin with Kohli coming in at number 6. Although he fell for a second-ball duck, Rohit Sharma (97) and Shikhar Dhawan (74) had an opening stand of 160 in 16 overs while Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya were sent in ahead of the Indian skipper.

“The middle order is something we can experiment with in T20 games,” said Kohli.

“I’ve got a good mindset of who’s batting where so in the next few games, not just the Ireland ones but also against England, we will look to be flexible and use them as and when the situation requires them,” the skipper added.

“We will look to surprise the opposition and we’ve asked the batsmen to have that flexibility and they have responded very well.”

After the second T20 clash against Ireland on Friday, India will move to England for a full series against the English.

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