Ireland vs India 2018: India's predicted XI for first T20I
India begin their preparations for their tour to England by playing two T20Is against Ireland. The Men in Blue have a full-strength squad to pick from and should use this as the ideal platform to get acclimatized to the conditions on offer. They have struggled to counter the swinging and overcast conditions in England in the past and there is no better way to prepare than get a few games under the belt, and there is no place more suitable than Ireland.
The Irish, however, are no pushovers and have quite a few T20 specialists, including Paul Stirling and Kevin O'Brien in their ranks.
India though will be expected to come through unscathed. Here is how India could line up in the first T20I:
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan
Rohit Sharma had a disastrous IPL campaign and will need to find some form ahead of the England tour. Ireland don't have the most potent of bowling attacks and Rohit could make merry if he gets a start. No boundary is big enough once the Hitman gets going and he will look to propel India to a 200-plus total.
Shikhar Dhawan will partner Rohit at the top, despite the presence of KL Rahul in the squad. Dhawan was one of Sunrisers' top performers in IPL 2018 and will be looking to carry that form into international cricket as well. Dhawan has performed phenomenally in England in the past and his knowledge of the conditions will come in handy for the Indians on their gruelling tour.
While KL Rahul was one of the best batsmen in the recently concluded IPL, India would not want to tinker with a settled opening pairing and are expected to stick with Rohit and Dhawan at the top.