The Indian cricket team have landed in UK (United Kingdom) and commence their campaign with two T20I matches against Ireland. One thing the Irish should keep in mind before they take on the No.3 ranked T20I team, is that the players are still in red-hot form, taking into consideration that the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League recently concluded in May.
The focus, determination and the hunger has increased since Team India got a taste of victory by routing Afghanistan on their historical Test debut, thrashing them by an innings and 262 runs on the second day itself in the one-off Test. The bowlers astonishingly rolled over the Asghar Stanikzai led side twice, collecting 20 wickets in a single day. (Also Read: Kohli not bothered about poor England past)
Least the Irish forget, Indian skipper Virat Kohli is back in action after a stress-free break since the conclusion of the IPL, giving him enough time to recover from his neck injury and sweat it out harder at the gym. Kohli seems highly rejuvenated and revitalized and would want to get into action as fast as possible.
Keeping in mind that the IPL 2018 recently concluded, here are five Team India players who you should look out for -
1. KL Rahul
The 11th edition of the IPL saw a monster unleash his brute power, making a bold and impressive statement with the bat and Lokesh Rahul is one player who has proved his worth in the Indian squad. His superb and profound performances in the 2018 IPL makes him a player to look out for. He scored the fastest fifty in IPL history on his Kings XI Punjab debut, scoring it just off 14 deliveries. Here are a few stats from this season -
STATS (IPL 2018)- In the 14 matches he has played in the 2018 IPL, Rahul has amassed 659 runs and has an impressive strike rate of 158.41. Rahul has scored six fifties, hammered 66 fours and 32 sixes in his fourteen appearances. He reached a career IPL best score of an unbeaten 95. Keep an eye on this 26-year old in the T20Is against Ireland and England.
2. Suresh Raina
One of Team India's polished T20 batsman, Suresh Raina burst in the scene cause of his extraordinary skills in the shortest format of the game. Raina was the backbone for the 2018 IPL winners Chennai Super Kings. Since he was brought back into the Indian squad for the tour of South Africa, Raina made every delivery count as he helped India clinch the three-match T20I series 2-1. The 31-year old has unfinished business and hopes to complete it in the tour of UK.
STATS (IPL 2018)- In the 15 matches he played for CSK, Raina scored a mammoth 455 runs, a best score of an unbeaten 75 and hammered four half-centuries. Mr. T20 himself would be itching to get his hands on the bat and walk the talk.
3. Virat Kohli
The Team India skipper needs no introduction when it comes to explaining his performances in any format of the game. For Ireland, the only advise any player, fan or coach could suggest, don't feed him bad deliveries and do 'NOT' get him angry or agitated. Kohli is known for his uncontrollable aggression on field and the last you would want is to trigger him. Kohli, who is fresh and back in action will aim to achieve something which is missing from his list of accolades and records, a century in T20I cricket. He has reached a 90. The 29-year old has scored 4 IPL centuries which indicates that any time soon that the 0 in his list could change.
STATS (IPL 2018)- In 14 appearances for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kohli has hammered 530 runs and has had a best score of an unbeaten 92. He scored four half-centuries as well and has a strike rate of 139.10. Once he steps out to bat, you know what to expect.
4. Kuldeep Yadav
Team India's chinaman is one tricky player to deal with. Coming onto the bowlers in Team India's T20 squad, Kuldeep Yadav is one player who can change the scenario with his spin. The 22-year old was highly impressive in the 2018 IPL and along with partner Yuzvendra Chahal, these two spinners have sometimes single-handedly won matches for the Men in Blue. They impressed on the tour of South Africa where India ran riot in the limited-overs format.
STATS (IPL 2018) - In the 16 matches he has played for Kolkata Knight Riders, Kuldeep has collected 17 wickets and an improvised IPL career best of 4/20. With an economy rate of 8.22, this chinaman tends to change the complexion of the game.
5. Siddarth Kaul
This pacer is yet to don the Indian colours and has been patiently waiting for an opportunity to start in the playing XI and hopefully, we might see Siddarth Kaul in action after a brilliant IPL season this year. The 28-year old was an Under-19 prodigy as well as he was a part of the Virat Kohli led team which won the ICC U-19 World Cup back in 2008. However, we could see Kaul up against Ireland after his more than impressive IPL performances.
STATS (IPL 2018)- Kaul was third on the list of the most wickets taken in the 2018 IPL after KXIP's Andrew Tye who won the Purper cap and Sunrisers Hyderabad teammate Rashid Khan. In the 17 matches Kaul has played for SRH, he collected 21 wickets and dismissed some big names. With an economy of 8.28 and a best figure of 4/29, this speedster one talent Team India cannot afford to miss out on.