Virat Kohli's Indian cricket team suffered a six-wicket loss against New Zealand in their warm-up match in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. (Image credit: Twitter)
Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team did not get their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign to an ideal start as they suffered a six-wicket loss to New Zealand at The Oval. In overcast conditions and with some swing available for the new ball, Trent Boult wrecked the Indian top order with Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli falling cheaply. Hardik Pandya looked good but Ravindra Jadeja’s attacking fifty gave them some respectability. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor smashed fifties as New Zealand coasted towards victory but India legend Sachin Tendulkar has said the team need not panic.
“I will not judge the team after each and every game. It's a tournament and things like these will happen. The main tournament has not even started yet. I think, we need to settle down, one or two games may go here and there. India should make most of the practice matches leading to the World Cup. They should understand what kind of surfaces they might get. I won't panic at all as of now,” Tendulkar said at a round-table conference on the sidelines of the Mumbai T20 League in Mumbai on Sunday.
India squared up in overcast conditions and had to encounter the swing of Boult and Tim Southee. In the New Zealand innings, Jasprit Bumrah bowled just four overs and conceded two runs and took one wicket. Tendulkar said the team was trying out different combinations but they needed to be aware of what kind of pitches they were going to encounter in the tournament.
“Many times, teams are trying different combinations, batting line up. Almost all teams are not sure about their front-line, playing 11, several bowlers and batsmen are rested. Nobody is wanting to expose their proper playing XI. All the teams are preparing and trying different combinations in those conditions, which would work for them. (The Oval) was a different kind of pitch with a bit of grass cover on it and the conditions were slightly in favour of bowlers upfront and as the time went by, the wicket settled down little more. I think the wickets will change, they will get little flatter and spinners will come into play much more,” Tendulkar said.
India begins their World Cup campaign on June 5 against South Africa at Southampton and is one of the favourites along with England. However, Tendulkar said Afghanistan can produce some surprises.
“I have said it earlier that Afghanistan will throw up surprises in the World Cup because they have one of the best spin bowling attacks. Even if they treat it like Test cricket, they will still take wickets in the middle overs,” Tendulkar said.