Hardik Pandya reveals the reason why Ruturaj Gaikwad didn't open in the 1st T20I against Ireland


Hardik Pandya-led second-string Indian team went on to clash with Ireland at The Village in Dublin on 26th June, Sunday. Coming to the game, Hardik Pandya won the toss and opted to take the field.

But due to the interruption of rain, the match has been reduced to 12 overs per side. Batting first, Ireland posted a quite defendable total of 108 runs on the board.

Harry Tector was the lone warrior for Ireland, scoring 64 off just 33 balls with the help of 6 fours and 3 sixes for his team. However, chasing the target, Deepak Hooda opened the innings for India along with Ishan Kishan.

Deepak Hooda finished the match for India and remained unbeaten on 47 runs. Hardik Pandya played a quick cameo, scoring 24 runs from just 12 balls as he smashed 3 sixes and a boundary.

Ishan Kishan also gave a good start and scored 26 runs for his team. In the end, India won the first T20I and will be looking to seal the series in the upcoming game.

A player's well-being is more important: Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya

Most Indian fans wanted to know the reason why Ruturaj Gaikwad didn't open with Ishan Kishan in the first T20I against Ireland. In that case, Hardik Pandya shared a lot about that in the post-match conference, saying, "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.

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."

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"When you play for India for the first time, and the journey he has taken, it's important to give such a bowler and such a talent time.

For him, just to play for India is itself a very big thing, and that is something which I’m very happy for, (irrespective) of how the result went, good or bad, it's okay. I want to let him enjoy this moment because it doesn't come every time. A debut happens only once," he added.