Ire vs India – Hardik Pandya to captain India in Ireland T20Is; Rahul Tripathi gets maiden call-up

Hardik Pandya will lead India during their two-match T20I tour of Ireland at the end of June. With the squad lacking a number of regulars who will be in England preparing for the Edgbaston Test match, Hardik will get a chance to bring to international cricket the leadership skills he displayed while captaining Gujarat Titans to the IPL 2022 title.
The squad includes a first-time call-up for Rahul Tripathi, who scored an impressive 413 runs for Sunrisers Hyderabad during the recently concluded IPL season, at an average of 37.54 and a strike rate of 158.23. His performances, which were marked by his willingness to take risks early in his innings, drew widespread praise, with a number of experts suggesting he was ready to play international cricket. Speaking on the ESPNcricinfo show T20 Time:Out, former India coach Ravi Shastri said Tripathi was “not far at all” from an India call-up.

“It is a very big opportunity, a dream come true [moment] and [I] appreciate [it],” Tripathi told PTI. “I am very happy that the selectors and everybody believed in me and whatever hard-work I have put in, I have got the rewards. And hopefully, if I get an opportunity to play, I will try and give my best.”

There are also recalls for two other middle-order batters in Sanju Samson and Suryakumar Yadav, with the latter having recovered from the forearm injury that ruled him out of the closing stages of the IPL as well as India’s ongoing home T20I series against South Africa.

The rest of the squad is along expected lines, with no unforced changes from the squad that is currently trailing South Africa 2-1 after three matches of the five-game series. The only exclusions are of Rishabh Pant, who is captaining India in that series, and Shreyas Iyer, both of whom will be part of India’s Test squad in England.

The BCCI release announcing the squad has Dinesh Karthik slotted in as wicketkeeper although both he and Ishan Kishan can fulfill the role in Pant’s absence. Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik, the two uncapped fast bowlers who are yet to feature against South Africa, will travel to Ireland too.

VVS Laxman will coach India on the tour, standing in for regular head coach Rahul Dravid who will be with the Test squad in England. Laxman will be assisted by batting coach Sitanshu Kotak, bowling coach Sairaj Bahutule and fielding coach Munish Bali.

The two T20Is are scheduled to be played on June 26 and 28 in Malahide.

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