India's comatose white-ball cricket is expected to receive a much-needed lifeline this week when fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah returns to the team after nearly a year out due to injury.
The pace spearhead had been sidelined since September 2022 due to a long-term back injury and underwent surgery in March.
The injury forced him to miss last year's T20 World Cup in Australia and the Indian Premier League. In Bumrah's absence, and following unfortunate injuries to Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, the Indian team struggled in both the ODI and T20 formats.
Recently, a weakened India team lost a five-match T20 series in the Caribbean after scraping through in the preceding ODIs. After two disappointing T20 World Cups and ahead of the 50-over showpiece event later this year at home, India were desperate for some good news and they received that in the form of Bumrah's return.
The right arm quick is not only back in the Indian team, he will also captain them during the three-match T20 series against Ireland which begins on Friday.
With a number of white-ball regulars missing, inexperienced Indian players will have the twin task of putting together a good performance and also bring the team back on track in white-ball cricket.
Friday, August 18: Ireland v India 1st T20, Malahide (6pm UAE time)
Sunday, August 20: Ireland v India 2nd T20, Malahide (6pm UAE time)
Wednesday, August 23: Ireland v India 3rd T20, Malahide (6pm UAE time)
India: Jasprit Bumrah (captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad (vc), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Sanju Samson (wk), Jitesh Sharma (wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Ravi Bishnoi, Prasidh Krishna, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan.
Ireland: Paul Stirling (captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Mark Adair, Ross Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Fionn Hand, Josh Little, Barry McCarthy, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Theo van Woerkom, Ben White, Craig Young.
How to watch Ireland v India T20s in the UAE?
The three-match T20 series will be shown live on Starzplay in the UAE.