Be it an innings outright win vs Afghanistan in the one-off Test or the 1st ODI vs Ireland on the English wicket, India seems to be in a different zone when playing against the minnows. They are entering the field not just to win the game but to win it in such a way that it signals every team that they are the current No.1 Team in the world be it Tests or ODI’s.
Played at ‘the Village”, Ireland took on India for the 1st T20 where in they won the toss and elected to bowl first. Electing to bowl is a signal of confidence which they showed that they can restrict them to a modest total and try chasing it down.
However, their decision to bowl against the Indian batting line up fell flat as the Gabbar and Hitman of Indian cricket stitched a massive 160run opening stand in mere 96balls. While Rohit started off cautiously sinking in the english wickets but as he got his eye in he hammered every bowler with disdain, Sharma went on to score a brilliant 97 off 61balls laced with 8fours and 5sixes with a strike rate of 160.00. On the other hand, Dhawan who is usually not a big fan of sixes has started hitting sixes off lately starting with this year’s IPL and even vs Ireland he smashed 5 effortless sixes en route his aggressive 75.
Suresh Raina on the other hand needs to accept that his time is over, he has not given one good perfomance in the last 2 to 3years and is struggling to hit like he used to. Its better players like Sanju Samson, Prithvi Shaw or Dinesh Karthik get a place instead of him. It was also surprising to see Kohli get out on a duck though we are sure he will hit back in the coming matches.
Ireland on the other hand managed to score only 132/9 with James Shannon looking really impressive. The way he scored his 35ball 60 against quality bowlers makes him a player to lookout for. Indian Spinners Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav did the job with the ball with Kuldeep’s 4/21 being the standout bowling spell of the match.
India win the opening match while Kohli will be experimenting a lot in the coming matches while this may be a last opportunity for players like Raina and Manish Pandey and on the other hand a lot of new players will get a chance to shine in this overall productive tour for India.
Editor Haineel Shah