Why Ruturaj Gaikwad did not open in the 1st T20I vs Ireland
- India defeated Ireland by seven wickets in the first T20I played at Malahide, Dublin on Sunday
- Deepak Hooda opened instead of Ruturaj Gaikwad
- Hooda top-scored for India with 47 runs
India defeated Ireland by seven wickets in the first T20I played at Malahide, Dublin on Sunday. The visitors rode on Yuzvendra Chahal and Deepak Hooda's performances and now lead the two-match series 1-0.
Chahal bowled a miserly spell, giving three runs for one wicket in his three overs. Chasing 109 runs in the 12-over a side game, Deepak Hooda, who opened alongside Ishan Kishan, smashed 47 runs in 29 balls with the help of six boundaries and two maximums. He and skipper Hardik Pandya (24 off12) stitched a 50-plus stand to orchestrate the chase.
Hooda batted at the top instead of regular opener Ruturaj Gaikwad. While the move worked well, it left many surprised.
After the game, Pandya cleared all doubts by saying that he didn't want to risk sending out Gaikwad as the 25-year-old picked up a calf niggle in the first half of the game.
"Rutu had a niggle in his calf," Pandya said at the post-match press conference.
"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."
Ishan Kishan exploded at the start. He made 26 runs off 11 balls before pacer Craig Young cleaned him. Suryakumar Yadav was caught leg before wicket on his first ball and India were reduced to 30/2 at one point.
"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 added.
Ireland - Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie (c), Gareth Delany, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker (wk), George Dockrell, Mark Adair, Andy McBrine, Craig Young, Joshua Little, Conor Olphert, Curtis Campher, Barry McCarthy, Stephen Doheny
India - Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umran Malik, Sanju Samson, Harshal Patel, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Arshdeep Singh, Ravi Bishnoi