With rain playing spoilsport, the 18th match of the ICC World Cup 2019 between India and New Zealand was abandoned at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Thursday.
India, despite the absence of Shikhar Dhawan, were the favourites to win the match. Yes, they lost to New Zealand in the inconsequential warm-up match. But the second-ranked ODI side has shown their true potentials by defeating South Africa and defending champions Australia to start their campaign on a rousing note.
New Zealand have also won all their matches, three – but against relatively weaker opponents – Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The India-New Zealand match has become the third in four days to be abandoned without a ball being bowled. Overall it was the fourth washed out match of the tournament that has left the teams, fans and the organisers frustrated. If the ICC were to award points for spoilsports, rain would be topping the table with eight!
India and New Zealand take home a point apiece.
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 13, 2019
“Sensible decision to not play, given the outfield wasn’t fully fit,” said the Indian skipper Virat Kohli in his post-match comments.
India fielding coach R Sridhar echoed Kohli’s sentiments and said the outfield resembled a “skating rink.”
Following the call-off of the day’s proceedings at local time 3.00 pm, India and New Zealand split the two points on offer. India now have five points from three matches while New Zealand stays on top of the table with seven points from four matches.
“One point is not a bad thing for sides that have won all their games so far,” Kohli noted.
“So, we’ll take it. For Sunday (the game against Pakistan), we know we’re there when it comes to the mindset. Just about going out there and having a game plan, executing it. As soon as you enter the field, it’s calm and relaxed. The atmosphere from the outside, for the first time, it’s a bit intimidating, but we’ll look to execute well. It’s been competitive for years, it’s a marquee event all over the world, honoured to be a part of the big game. Brings out the best in all of us,” he said of the match in Manchester.
Meanwhile, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said it was not surprising that the game was called off.
“We have been here for about four days and we haven’t seen the sun, so this doesn’t surprise us. It’s not ideal, but little bit of time off is also important. We have some break now midway through, so it’s a good chance for the guys to freshen up and look forward to the next challenge,” Williamson said.
India will now take on Pakistan on June 16 in Manchester while New Zealand will gear up for a game against South Africa on June 19.