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3rd T20I: Chance to test bench strength as India aim clean sweep against Ireland

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Dublin: Jasprit Bumrah will have to balance between adding miles to his legs and checking his team’s bench-strength as India aim to complete a comfortable clean-sweep against Ireland in the three-match T20 series here on Wednesday.

The Indian skipper for the series has looked comfortable in the eight overs across two matches but will need to take an informed call if he intends to play a third consecutive game on the bounce in five days even though it is a T20 affair.

The more Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna bowl, the fitter they will get, better the rhythm will be and greater the pace in their deliveries — ingredients that are a must to cook a perfect recipe to trouble Pakistan in the upcoming Asia Cup and the marquee World Cup.

However, the skipper along with stand-in head coach Sitanshu Kotak will also have to keep in mind that there is an Asian Games to be played and some of the reserve bench players might just be undercooked.

The inconsequential third game gives this think-tank a chance to check out players like Avesh Khan, Jitesh Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed, who haven’t yet got a game in the series.

In fact, Avesh, who was also with the team during the West Indies T20 series has been benched for seven straight matches and if he is again kept on the sidelines, he will go into Asian Games without any game time, which might be detrimental for both him and the team.

It is unlikely that there will be any change in the batting order unless the team management decides to rest Sanju Samson and try out Jitesh before Asian Games.

However Samson, who is a senior player in this set-up, might not want to sit out as his place in the World Cup squad is far from assured and he would like to carry on from where he left in the second game when he scored 40 off 26 balls.

Arshdeep Singh has got a long rope and his has been a mixed bag so far after he failed to show consistency in nailing the yorkers during the death overs in the past seven T20 games.

Avesh with his pace or Mukesh Kumar with subtle variations could be tried out at Malahide, which has been a reasonably okay strip for willow wielders although it does get slower towards the end.

With Rinku Singh announcing his arrival on international stage with a 21-ball-38 in the second game, India’s T20 squad seems like getting that second finisher after Suryakumar Yadav in shortest format.

The likes of Rinku, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad would like to stamp their authority as this will be the last bilateral T20 series before the next one against Australia which will be held in the month of November.

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