World Cup 2019: Acclimatising won't be a hurdle for Virat Kohli and Co
During the practice sessions here at the Oval the Indian team have looked far from lethargic after the energy-sapping IPL back home
There are just two warm-up matches for India to fine-tune their preparation for the World Cup. Beginning with match against New Zealand at the Oval today and followed by one at Cardiff against Bangladesh on May 28, these games will be crucial for India to not only acclimatise to the conditions, here but also work out the combination best suited for their campaign to regain the trophy they have won twice — in 1983 here in London and 2011 in Mumbai.
Most of the top teams have been in the UK for over a fortnight now preparing for the World Cup and that includes defending champions Australia. The Indian players on the other hand, required rest more than anything else after a hectic IPL, which concluded only on May 12. They have taken things rather lightly since then, but now have got down to it in all earnest.
During the practice sessions here at the Oval the Indian team have looked far from lethargic after the energy-sapping IPL back home. The players look quite refreshed and their body-language oozed confidence. However, they need to get T20 cricket out of the system pronto and get into the 50-overs mode in these two warm-up matches.
The advantage India have is that they have played enough cricket in the UK over the last two years. In 2017 Champions Trophy they went all the way to the final where they lost to Pakistan and last year they played three T20I, three ODIs and five Test matches with mixed success to gain enough experience of playing in England.
The two warm-up ties do not have an official ODI status, which means that India can field all their 15 in the match, either in batting or bowling, thus giving everybody a chance to prove their form and fitness. Besides, it will be an opportunity for spinners Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja to prove their form and utility in testing conditions. How the trio along with the pace battery will fare in the warm-up games will determine the combination which India will go with when up against South Africa in their opening game at Southampton on June 5.
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