India and Netherlands are facing the ICC World Cup without any warm-up matches due to rain disruptions. Both teams are adjusting to challenging conditions as they prepare for the tournament.
India’s World Cup preparations have hit a major roadblock, as the team is set to enter the tournament without having played a single ball of warm-up cricket. Their recent practice match against the Netherlands in Thiruvananthapuram was washed out due to heavy rain, leaving them without any valuable on-field experience.
This unfortunate development followed another rain-induced disappointment, as their first warm-up match against England in Guwahati on September 30 was also abandoned without a ball being bowled. In that case, the weather permitted only the toss to take place, denying both teams any chance to showcase their skills ahead of the highly anticipated ICC World Cup.
Netherlands, too, find themselves in a similar predicament, having seen minimal warm-up action. Their game against Australia in Thiruvananthapuram was heavily affected by rain, and no result was possible after the Dutch side had bowled 23 overs and batted for 14.2 overs.
India had traveled extensively across the country for their warm-up matches, covering over 6000 kilometers in the process. After concluding their three-match ODI series against Australia in Rajkot, Gujarat, India journeyed to Guwahati in the northeast before making their way to Thiruvananthapuram, located near the southern tip of the Indian peninsula. Now, they are preparing to make a shorter journey to Chennai, where they will open their World Cup campaign against Australia on October 8.
Netherlands, on the other hand, will commence their World Cup journey in Hyderabad, facing Pakistan on October 6.
Despite the challenging warm-up phase, hosts India are the favorites to win the World Cup. They have assembled a squad that covers most aspects of the game, although concerns remain regarding their right-handed-heavy top-order batting and the number 8 position. India made a late change to their original squad by replacing the injured Axar Patel with R Ashwin, adding an offspin option to their arsenal.
Netherlands earned their spot in the 10-team World Cup through a stellar performance at the Qualifier in Zimbabwe. They finished in the top two by defeating West Indies in a thrilling Super Over encounter and chasing down 278 runs within 44 overs to outperform Scotland on net run rate. This underdog story has piqued the cricketing world’s interest as they prepare to take on the giants of the game in the World Cup.