Hardik Pandya to lead Team India in Ireland T20I series
Hardik Pandya is set to lead Team India in the upcoming T20I series in Ireland. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the squad on Wednesday. Top-order batter Rahul Tripathi has earned his maiden national call-up, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been named the vice-captain. Senior players Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and Rishabh Pant will miss the two-match series.
India's T20I squad: Hardik Pandya (captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (vice-captain), Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.
As stated, uncapped batter Rahul Tripathi has earned his maiden call-up. Tripathi finished as the second-highest run-scorer for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2022, having slammed 413 runs at a strike rate of 158.23. Besides, the team management has given Sanju Samson another opportunity to shine. The stylish batter led Rajasthan Royals to the final besides scoring 374 runs (SR: 147.24).
Pandya, who will captain India in Ireland, led Gujarat Titans to their maiden IPL title earlier this year. GT beat Rajasthan Royals to lift the trophy in Ahmedabad. Pandya racked up 487 runs at a remarkable average of 44.27 and took eight wickets. He regained his bowling rhythm in the tournament's second half. Notably, Pandya is Rishabh Pant's deputy in the ongoing IND-SA series.
Earlier this year, Cricket Ireland had confirmed that a second-string Indian side will tour Ireland for two T20Is in June. Malahide will host the two T20Is on June 26 and 28. India's Test-bound players Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Shreyas Iyer would not travel to Ireland. Injured KL Rahul will also miss the Ireland series.
India will kick off their away summer by playing two T20Is against Ireland. A second-string Indian side has been selected for the same. The Test-bound players will travel to England to play last summer's rescheduled fifth Test in Manchester. Thereafter, India are slated to play six white-ball matches against England. The limited-overs leg includes three T20Is and as many ODIs.