International Cricket

Match Preview – IND vs IRE 8th Match, Group A, T20 World Cup

Match details

India vs Ireland
New York, 10.30am local time

Big picture – India in their element?

India played two high-profile games at the last T20 World Cup. They won the one where the pitch was tough to bat on and lost the one where it was considerably easier. They will be pleased that the surfaces at this tournament are proving trickier than expected. That means they won’t be bested by the team with the better six-hitting pedigree, like they were in 2016 and in 2022.

Less-than-placid conditions also bring Ireland into the game. Josh Little will be asked to do what other left-arm quicks have done against India in the past. Bowl full and try to get lbws and bowleds, which if he manages to do so will be doubly useful, because India are front-loading at this World Cup. Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav – their three best batters – are likely to be Nos. 1, 2 and 3. Taking them out early might be half the job done.

It’s early days, but so far, discipline more than strength seems to be the necessary ingredient to win at this T20 World Cup, which has taken a leap into the unknown. So watch for Jasprit Bumrah holding his length back and prioritising being unhittable first. And for Paul Stirling to respond with calculated risks to maximise the powerplay. Kuldeep Yadav will make the most of his improved air speed by never giving up the stumps. All of Ireland – particularly their middle order of Harry Tector and Curtis Campher – will have to work together to deny him wickets. It will be hard but that’s what they want. Ireland live for games like these, for occasions like these.

Form guide

India WWWWL (last five completed T20Is, most recent first)
Ireland WWWLL

In the spotlight – Rishabh Pant and Harry Tector

Putting just the jersey back on gave him goosebumps. Imagine how it would feel when Rishabh Pant walks out there to bat. Or even just out there, that first step back on the field for India in an official match at a World Cup no less. He might make the headlines. Or he might not. But the mere fact that he is back and is able to play cricket at this level again after that car accident less than two years ago is huge. The sport is lucky to still have him and his no-look flicks for six.

Harry Tector made his highest T20I score against India, an action-packed 64 off 33 balls, although that was against a decidedly second-string attack. Rather more recently, he stood up to Rashid Khan and Afghanistan with 56 off 34 balls and helped them to a score that eventually proved more than defendable. The middle-order batter stands out for both his power and his temperament and this T20 World Cup might just be his time.

Team news: Dube likely, Jaiswal unlikely

A left-hand batter at the top of the order is a useful advantage and in Yashasvi Jaiswal India have one of the best, but they may forgo that in favour of another left-hand batter with a very different set of skills. Shivam Dube is likely to slot into the middle order and take on the spinners. India’s bowling contains plenty of variety but it is centered around Bumrah and Kuldeep, players with the kind of talent that can dominate whole tournaments, let alone a single match.

India (probable): 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Virat Kohli, 3 Suryakumar Yadav, 4 Shivam Dube, 5 Rishabh Pant (wk), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Kuldeep Yadav, 9 Arshdeep Singh, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Mohammed Siraj

Ireland’s batting goes down to No. 8 and it has a reasonable split between power-hitters and shock absorbers. Andy Balbirnie and Lorcan Tucker have the ability to do both of those roles. Their bowling is seam-dominated but left-arm spinner George Dockrell could get an over or two against the more orthodox batters in the Indian line-up.

Ireland (probable): 1 Andy Balbirnie, Paul Stirling (capt), 3 Lorcan Tucker (wk), 4 Harry Tector, 5 Curtis Campher, 6 George Dockrell, 7 Gareth Delany, 8 Mark Adair, 9 Barry McCarthy, 10 Craig Young, 11 Ben White

Pitch and conditions: It’s a mystery

The weather in New York is perfect for cricket. Not too hot, not too cold, no worry about dew. The pitch and outfield, however, will be under the scanner again after the events from Monday, where 80 for 4 in 16.2 overs played 77 all out. But things can only get better. India played a warm-up game here, on a different track, and they scored 180.

Stats and trivia

  • Kohli averages 81.5 in T20 World Cups having turned 14 of his 25 innings into 50-plus scores
  • Bumrah has taken six wickets in 12 overs against Ireland at an average of 9.66 and economy rate of 4.83
  • India have won all seven completed T20Is between the two teams
  • Quotes

    “Cricket not being one of the major sports in [the USA], you don’t kind of feel that kind of buzz here but hopefully once our games start and a lot of the Indian fans do start coming in, you start seeing that similar kind of excitement.”
    India coach Rahul Dravid is hopeful the game will acquire a new market

    “There’s such great Irish roots in America, definitely in New York, so it would be nice to get a good turn out from the locals – a bit of green in the crowd to back us would be welcome.”
    Ireland’s George Dockrell is hoping for some support on Wednesday.

    Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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