India’s opening batsman Rohit Sharma reckons that the two-match T20I series against Ireland is an ideal preparation for the Men in Blue bearing in mind the hectic two-month long England tour. Team India will play a couple of limited-overs series against England (3 T20Is and 3 ODIs) from July 3 before featuring in a five-match Test series from August 1.
Playing their first match after the seven weeks of fireworks in IPL 2018, India started their international season with a bang as they thrashed Ireland by 76 runs in the first T20I at the Village, Dublin on Wednesday (June 27).
After being put into bat, India rode on Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan’s brilliance to post a mammoth total of 208/5 in 20 overs. While Rohit scored a breathtaking 97 off 61 balls (8 fours and 5 sixes), Dhawan played a scintillating knock of 74 runs in 45 balls (5 fours and 5 sixes).
Defending the total, India’s wrist spinners weaved their magic to restrict Ireland at 132/9 in 20 overs. Kuldeep Yadav, who was eventually adjudged Man of the Match, claimed 4 wickets for 21 runs in his 4 overs whereas Yuzvendra Chahal scalped 3 for 38 in his quota of overs.
Following the convincing win, Rohit spoke to Dhawan for BCCI’s official website. The Mumbaikar highlighted the importance of Ireland T20Is and his return to international cricket after a brief period.
"This was a good start to the Ireland tour. After this we have a challenging tour against England. So this is a good preparation for the England tour. And hopefully, if we perform good against Ireland in the second match, a victory will give us confidence for the England tour," Rohit said.
"It felt good playing for India after a long time. We strung together a big partnership and won the match," he added.
Dhawan also stressed on the significance of starting a tour on a positive note since it lifts the morale of the team.
Echoing his opening partner’s view, Sharma said: "Whenever a team plays after a long time, there are chances that the team might not put up their best performance but we showed no such signs. However, our fielding was not up to the mark, which we will look to improve."
Watch the video here:
Important to start on a winning note - Rohit Sharma#TeamIndia openers - @ImRo45 & @SDhawan25 speak about their match-winning partnership, the importance of starting a long tour on a high note and more - by @RajalArora— BCCI (@BCCI) June 28, 2018
▶️https://t.co/OLn5tj5pfG #IREvIND pic.twitter.com/GXPIhrNTYl
Ireland and India will face off in the second T20I at The Village, Dublin on Friday (June 29).