- Feb 24, 2024
- Aug 11, 2023
Hardik Pandya led the Indian Cricket Team for the first time in his international career in the first T20 international against Ireland on Sunday. The Indian all-rounder had a great day at the office as India won the game easily by 7 wickets and took a 1-0 lead in the two-match T20I series.
India bowled first and restricted Ireland to 108 runs in 12 overs in the first innings. India needed a solid start to lay a strong foundation for the run chase. Everyone was expecting Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad to open the innings.
However, surprisingly, Deepak Hooda came along with Ishan Kishan to open the innings. The duo gave the team a quick-fire start but everyone was puzzled as to why Ruturaj Gaikwad didn’t open the innings.
Gaikwad, in fact, didn’t come out in the middle despite India losing 3 wickets during the run-chase. The fans were curious to know the reason behind the same. Following the conclusion of the game, Hardik Pandya put all the speculations to rest. Pandya revealed that the opener suffered a niggle and was not used as a precautionary measure.
“Rutu had a niggle in his calf, We had the choice of taking a risk and sending him in [to open], but I was not okay with it. A player’s well-being is more important, and [I thought] we’ll be able to manage what happens in the match. It was quite simple after that, there wasn’t much of a decision to make; whatever our [batting-order] numbers were, we all went up one spot, and it wasn’t a big headache. We wanted to make sure we weren’t taking any chances with Rutu,” Pandya said in his post-match press conference.
The first T20 international also saw Umran Malik making his debut for the Indian Cricket Team. He bowled 1 over in the game and conceded 14 runs.
“It’s part and parcel of the game, but at the same point of time, from here he’ll only get better, the more matches he plays, and it’s a big thing for him to play for India, for anyone to play for India. I want to let him enjoy this moment because it doesn’t come every time. A debut happens only once,” the Indian skipper stated.