India v Ireland: Weather, pitch and likely XI for T20 World Cup clash

Rohit Sharma's team will have their work cut out in New York encounter

Rahul Dravid, right, will be managing India for the last time during the ongoing T20 World Cup. Reuters
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India begin their T20 World Cup campaign in New York against Ireland on Wednesday (6.30pm UAE time) and given the way the tournament has turned out so far, it could be a hugely entertaining match.

New York is the venue for the opening contest of the tournament for Rohit Sharma's team and it is expected to be a far from straightforward match. The purpose-built Nassau County International Stadium has proven to be a challenging venue for batting teams.

Two matches have taken place so far at the venue – a warm-up game between India and Bangladesh and a Group D game between Sri Lanka and South Africa. In both games, batsmen found the going extremely tough; Sri Lanka were bowled out for just 77.

The unpredictable nature of the playing conditions means Ireland will have more than a decent shot at causing an upset. And the way the match pans out will have an impact on the all-important clash between India and Pakistan at the same venue on Sunday.

Pitch

The playing surface at Nassau has offered help to seamers and slow bowlers throughout the course of the match. Quicks have enjoyed bounce and movement while all slow bowlers have extracted purchase as the ball has been stopping after pitching.

More importantly, the outfield of the recently developed venue is very heavy with the total number of boundaries expected to be low. Expect a lot of running.

Weather

Weather has proven to be a big challenge so far in the tournament. Rain has affected play across venues in the US and Caribbean. The forecast for today, however, is encouraging. An overcast morning in New York is expected to give way to clear skies as the day progresses with chance of rain late in the evening.

Likely playing XI

India are almost certain to open with Sharma and Virat Kohli, now that it is known that the pitch won't be flat and graft will be required. In the spin department, India could be tempted to have both Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel since finger spinners have excelled so far and both offer batting depth. That could mean either Kuldeep Yadav or Mohammad Siraj sit out.

Likely XI: Rohit Sharma (capt), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shivam Dube, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav / Mohammad Siraj

Ireland defeated eventual champions England in the last T20 World Cup, so are more than capable of challenging India. They have a number of all-rounders in their side, which offers great flexibility.

Likely XI: Paul Stirling (capt), Andy Balbirnie, Lorcan Tucker (wk), Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Gareth Delany, Mark Adair, Barry McCarthy, Craig Young, Ben White

What they said

Rahul Dravid: "There will always be that one or two slots that you might make the odd change. We have picked a squad that allows us to maybe make those one or two changes based on the conditions".

George Dockrell: "There's such great Irish roots in America, definitely in New York. So it would be nice to get a good turnout from the locals. A bit of green in the crowd to back us would be welcome."

Updated: June 05, 2024, 10:58 AM