Ireland vs India, T20: 5 player battles to look out for
The Indian team have embarked on the long tour of United Kingdom and they will first take on Ireland in a two-match T20I series after which they will hop across to England for a full-fledged series.
However, before the team thinks about the challenge posed by the English side, they will have to factor in the Irish, a side which is upbeat after their impressive Test debut against Pakistan last month.
In home conditions, Ireland are a defiant unit and India have to strategize accordingly to ward off their threat.
Here in this slider, we identify five different player battles which could well set the template and define the result of the match.
#5 Boyd Rankin vs Rohit Sharma
The big burly Boyd is quite a handful in familiar Irish conditions and he gets the ball to zip around at a brisk pace. Also, he generally prefers to bowl back of a length and is quite difficult to line up which gives him an advantage against the stroke-makers of India.
Rohit Sharma is coming off a mediocre IPL and has not looked in the best of forms, but there is little doubt over his mettle. He generally likes the short pitches stuff and is well in tune to cut or pull balls. This encounter in the powerplay will determine the result of the match.
While Rankin has to be careful about not being predictable, Rohit has to keep in mind that if conditions do suit the bowler, he has to gust it out and then bring out his power game to the fore. This will be a great test for the right-hander ahead of the tough English tour and will go a long way in instilling a sense of belief not only in him but also will calm down the nerves of the dressing room.