New Delhi, June 15: India selectors have fielded a team of T20 specialists for the tour of Ireland where they'll play a short two-match T20I series later this month. Senior India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been appointed the captain of the side while pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be his deputy. Sanju Samson makes his comeback while Rahul Tripathi gets his maiden India call-up.
With head coach Rahul Dravid and the other senior team support staff set to depart for England with the Test squad later this week, the team for Ireland will be coached by former India coach VVS Laxman.
The games are scheduled to be played on June 26 and June 28 in Malahide. The short tour coincides with the tour of England where the Indians are supposed to play the rescheduled fifth Test against Ben Stokes-led side. India lead the series 2-1.
List of coach and support staff for the Ireland series:
National Cricket Academy (NCA) chief Laxman will be performing the head coach's duty in Ireland. It is something similar to what Rahul Dravid did last year in July for Team India's limited-overs series in Sri Lanka.
As per a PTI report, the NCA coaches Sitanshu Kotak, Sairaj Bahutule and Munish Bali will be part of the team's support staff.
Kotak, who has been part of India A set-up earlier, will be the batting coach.
Bowling and fielding coach:
Bali and Bahutule, who were part of the victorious U-19 World Cup campaign in the Caribbean earlier this year, have been handed the fielding and bowling duties.
Trio has joined Team India already
With head coach Rahul Dravid and the other senior team support staff set to depart for England with the Test squad later this week, the trio of Bali, Kotak and Bahutule has already joined the squad currently playing South Africa at home.
"After the senior support staff departs for the England tour, Bali, Bahutule and Kotak will take over the duties for the remaining T20 against South Africa in Rajkot and Bengaluru.
"They have already been with the limited-overs squad for a while and by the time the senior support staff leaves for England, they will be ready for the task," a BCCI official told PTI.
India Squad for Ireland:
Hardik Pandya (C), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (VC), Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.
The squad for the Ireland series looks relatively younger with several new faces on the 17-member side. The squad comprises mostly players who are part of the T20I series against South Africa. Samson and Rahul Tripathi are the only additions. While Rishabh Pant who was leading Team India against South Africa set to travel with the Test regulars for England tour.
With Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant set to leave for England tour the selectors will have to appoint a new captain for the Ireland series as well. Hardik Pandya - who was appointed the vice-captain for the South Africa series - will now be leading Team India in the remaining Rajkot and Bengaluru T20Is.
Before the Test match against England (starting July 1 in Edgbaston), India will play a four-day warm-up against Leicestershire from Jun 24-27. A full-strength squad is will be fielded for the white-ball leg of the England tour comprising three T20s and as many ODIs from July 7.