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Ireland vs India, 2nd T20I: KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik raring to go as Virat Kohli eyes wholesale changes

KL Rahul who just showed the world what he is capable of in the IPL certainly deserves a run in the side.

Written by: Ajay Shankar Tiwari, New Delhi [ Published on: June 29, 2018 15:14 IST ]
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

India should test their bench strength in the 2nd T20I.

The Men in Blue got their three-month-long tour of Ireland and England off to a fine start with a thumping 76-run win on Wednesday.

It indicated that India's first-choice eleven was functioning properly after a break of three months, and tuning itself for the England tour.

The big question is of bench strength and chances for the likes of KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik and Umesh Yadav.

"We are going to do a lot of experiments in the middle order...We are looking to give everyone game-time and want them to portray the qualities they possess because many guys go on tour and never get an opportunity to play," said skipper Virat Kohli post the first T20I.

If the skipper remains true to his words then we should witness a number of changes in the playing XI on Friday. 

KL Rahul who just showed the world what he is capable of with his superlative run-scoring in the IPL 2018 certainly deserves a run in the side. Rohit Sharma who missed out on a well-deserved century in the last match seems the candidate to make way for Rahul which will be a like-for-like replacement as far as batting position is considered.

Dinesh Karthik - the man who had won India their last T20I before this tour - was missing in the last match as well. The veteran who is having reprisal of his career of sorts should definitely play in the next game though it is difficult to imagine him replace anyone else other than Manish Pandey. One can't help but believe that Dhoni would still hold on to his place in the team sheet as he remains the sanest head on the cricket field and Kohli might need him if Ireland threaten to trump the visitors.

Kohli's words though do not shine enough light on whether India will go in for wholesale changes to their bowling attack as well.

His mantra of giving chances to those sitting on the bench could be extended to the bowling line-up, where both Umesh Yadav and Siddarth Kaul is raring to go and longing for game time.

Yadav who lit up the IPL with 20 wickets off his fiery pace has made a comeback into the T20I side after a long time and certainly deserves a look-in before the England tour starts. Bhuvneshwar Kumar should make way for the Vidarbha pacer. Similarly, Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling star Kaul who finished as the joint second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament should slot in the place of Jasprit Bumrah.

Likely XI: 1 KL Rahul, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Suresh Raina, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Dinesh Karthik, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Umesh Yadav, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Siddarth Kaul

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