Team India left for England to prepare for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup on Tuesday. Their campaign at the showpiece event starts on June 5 when they face South Africa at the Rose Bowl in Bristol. All the Indian players just finished with a gruelling season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and will look to get used to the English conditions as soon as possible.
To prepare for the biggest ODI tournament in the world, Men in Blue will play two warm-up matches before they face the Proteas in their first match at the 2019 World Cup. One of the teams that India will be facing in the warm-up matches is of New Zealand. On May 25, Team India will take on the Blackcaps at The Oval to get used to the conditions.
New Zealand middle-order batsman Ross Taylor believes that playing a match against “favourites” India before the tournament would actually be a boon for his side ahead of the World Cup.
“The game against India on the 25th would be a great preparation. They are one of the stronger sides and are favourites going into the tournament. It will be good for us to go out there and have a good hit out as a team,” Taylor was quoted as saying by the ICC.
The Blackcaps will play two warm-up games against India and West Indies on May 25 and 28 respectively before they begin their World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka in Cardiff on June 1.
For the first time since 1992, a round-robin format will be used at the 2019 World Cup where all 10 teams will play each other with the top four sides qualifying for the semifinals. The 35-year-old Taylor praised the change in format and called it exciting and fair.
“The format, with everyone playing everybody, similar to the 1992 World Cup, is pretty exciting and a pretty fair reflection, I think. If you see at World Cups going around in all major sports, it’s more of a pool-type scenario,” opined Taylor.