Bumrah’s absence is a big problem for India: Sunil Gavaskar

India’s bashing of Ireland showed the gulf that exists between the new Test nation and the established ones. Most, if not all of Ireland’s players play in the English county championships and although it is nowhere near the standards of the 1970s, the fact that they get to play so many games should make them more competitive than was seen in the two T20 internationals.

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England of course will be a different kettle of fish as they have a much better team and players who have played loads of T20 cricket all over the world.

Remember also that England were the runners-up in the ICC World T20 couple of years back and were only denied the title because of the ferocious hitting of Carlos Brathwaite that took the West Indies home.

India have a problem as Bumrah has been ruled out for the T20 series. He and Bhuvneshwar Kumar make a potent pair, be it at the start of the innings or when bowling in the final overs. Umesh Yadav, his most likely replacement, had a magnificent IPL and bowled quick against Ireland. The two spinners Yuzuvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav will once again be the key and if they can choke up the runs in the middle overs, England can be restricted too.

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India’s batting is its strength and the way Dhawan, Sharma and Rahul batted, it will make Kohli’s job of picking the batting slots tough. Raina being a left-hander is a good thing as he provides variety in the middle order and that means Manish Pandey will mostly find himself out of the playing XI. Dhoni and Pandya struck sixes with ease against Ireland and they will be dangerous down the order. India will be hoping that they give the final push that takes the score from a gettable one to a tough one.




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