Team India kick-started the UK tour with a 76-run win over the minnows Ireland in their first T20 International of the two-match series at Dublin on June 28.
Batting first, Virat Kohli & Co posted a mammoth 208/5, thanks to brilliant half-centuries from openers Rohit Sharma (97 off 61 balls; 4×8, 6×5) and Shikhar Dhawan (74 off 45 balls; 4×5, 6×5). Rohit missed scoring a century by just 3 runs as he was picked up by Peter Chase in the last over.
The 160-run partnership between Rohit and Dhawan was the second-best for India in T20 Internationals. In the match, Rohit also became the only opener to be involved in three 150+ run partnerships for the in T20 Internationals.
In reply, Ireland batsmen failed to tackle the Indian spin attack as they were restricted for a meagre 132/9.
Handshakes all around as #TeamIndia win by 76 runs.#IREvIND pic.twitter.com/uh37qETaFn
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 27, 2018
But one thing which surprised Indian fans was the Indian batting order. Skipper Kohli, who usually bats at number 3, came to the crease at number 5. Due to this change in the batting order, the Indian team’s middle-order collapsed.
Kohli, however, justified the shuffle and said that a flexible batting order will help keep India’s opponents guessing.
“The middle order is something we can experiment with in T20 games,” said Kohli after the match.
“I’ve got a good mindset of who’s batting where so in the next few games, not just the Ireland ones but also against England, we will look to be flexible and use them as and when the situation requires them,” the skipper added.
“We will look to surprise the opposition and we’ve asked the batsmen to have that flexibility and they have responded very well,” he concluded.
Team India will next face Ireland again on June 29. The match will start at 8:30 PM IST.