Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie is hoping that playing the world's number-one ranked side will inspire his players in their two T20 clashes with India next week.

Ireland host India in Malahide on Sunday and Tuesday, with both clashes already sold out.

"It's a really big test," Balbirnie told 2fm's Game On. "Probably the biggest.

"The sheer numbers they have in the country for the game, I don’t think any other sport in the world can compare to it.

"The knock-on effect of playing a team like India is huge. There will be millions, if not billions, of people watching the game.

"It would be a massive achievement if we were to pull it off over the two games."

India are bringing some in new faces while their Test team prepare to face England later next week but Balbirnie insists their opponents are unlikely to be weakened by the changes.

"There are a lot of players who have done really well in the IPL (Indian Premier League), the domestic competition over there.

"We all know how good quality a tournament that is.

"To get into that main India team you have to consistently do quite well. So with the Indian test team in England during the time that we're playing the T20 team, there will be a lot of guys trying to prove a point and hopefully that will play into their hands.

"They’ll be coming out all guns blazing."

India last came to Dublin in 2018

The two-game series marks the start of a summer of preparation for the T20 World Cup which will also World No 14 side Ireland play sixth ranked New Zealand (three games in Belfast), No 4 South Africa (two games in Bristol) and 10th-rated Afghanistan (three games in Belfast) in the reduced overs format.

"It's a huge opportunity, with the World Cup at the end of the year, for some of our young and inexperienced guys to show what they have," said Balbirnie of the India series.

"We have a lot of high-quality T20 cricket to play before that. We’re playing against world-class players week-in week-out really into the World Cup in October.

"So hopefully by the time we get out there, we’re well positioned and guys have found form against really good teams."

Balbirnie also paid tribute to the retiring William Porterfield, who he succeeded as Ireland skipper in 2019.

"He has been a stalwart of the game in this country," said Balbirnie. "He has led a generation of cricketers and achieved amazing things as captain.

"The changeover of captaincy can be a difficult thing, particularly as you continue to play, but it speaks to the class of the man how easy the transition was.

"He was always there, at the end of a call or when we were in camp. We'll certainly miss him but we’re lucky to have him involved still in a coaching capacity."