India will begin their quest to win third World Cup title by ironing out the glitches in the lead up to their first match on June 5.
After hitting the ground running with their first practice session in London, the Men in Blue are facing a tough outing in their first World Cup warm-up game against the Blackcaps at the Kennington Oval in London.
The area of concern heading into their World Cup campaign is the No. 4 spot in the batting line-up. The challengers for the position are Karnataka opener KL Rahul and all-rounder Vijay Shankar, who however suffered an injury scare after being hit on the forearm by a Khaleel Ahmed delivery which forced him to leave India’s training session midway.
After winning the toss and opting to bat first at The Oval on Saturday, Virat Kohli confirmed about Shankar’s injury.
“It looks like a pitch with some grass on it and you want to put yourself in tough situations in warm-up games. The warm up games give you opportunity for match practice, which is the best kind of practice. Even if you’re content getting to fifty, and walk off, then that’s good. Vijay got hit in the nets yesterday, so he won’t be playing, Kedar isn’t playing either. We’re playing with 13,” the Indian skipper said.
The ongoing warm-up tie between India and New Zealand will give also an opportunity to wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal to find their groove, especially the former after an indifferent showing in IPL-12.
New Zealand (Batting XI, Fielding XI): Colin Munro, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson(c), Tom Blundell(w), Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Henry Nicholls, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi.
India (Batting XI, Fielding XI): Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Lokesh Rahul, MS Dhoni(w), Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal.