Jasprit Bumrah will need to balance adding miles to his legs with monitoring his team’s bench strength as India looks to complete a clean sweep against Ireland in the three-match T20 series on Wednesday. Despite being comfortable in the eight overs across two matches, the Indian skipper for the series will need to make an informed decision if he intends to play a third consecutive game on the bounce in five days, even though it is a T20 affair.
However, the skipper, along with stand-in head coach Sitanshu Kotak, will also have to keep in mind that there is an Asian Games to be played, and some of the reserve bench players might just be undercooked.
The third game provides an opportunity for the think tank to assess players like Avesh Khan, Jitesh Sharma, and Shahbaz Ahmed, who have not yet played in the series. Avesh has been benched for seven straight matches, and if he is not given a chance to play, he will go into the Asian Games without any game time, which could be detrimental to both him and the team. The batting order is unlikely to change unless the team management decides to rest Sanju Samson and try out Jitesh before the Asian Games. However, Samson may not want to sit out as his place in the World Cup squad is not yet assured, and he would like to continue his good performance from the second game, where he scored 40 off 26 balls.
Arshdeep Singh’s inconsistent performance in nailing yorkers during the death overs in the past seven T20 games has been a mixed bag. Avesh, with his pace, or Mukesh Kumar, with subtle variations, could be tried out at Malahide, which has been a reasonably okay strip for batsmen, although it does get slower towards the end. With Rinku Singh announcing his arrival on the international stage with a 21-ball-38 in the second game, India’s T20 squad seems to be getting that second finisher after Suryakumar Yadav in the shortest format. The likes of Rinku, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Ruturaj Gaikwad would like to stamp their authority as this will be the last bilateral T20 series before the next one against Australia, which will be held in November.
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