With the twelfth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) coming to an end on Sunday (May 12), it is time to shift entire focus firmly on the all-important 50-overs World Cup 2019. India is one of the hot favourites to win the tournament in England and Wales. And if the Men in Blue are eyeing the ultimate glory, they will be needed to keep up the momentum and play consistent cricket throughout the entire tournament, reckons Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane.
“If you start well you will have to keep up the momentum, you will have to play consistent cricket throughout the tournament. In ICC tournament any team picks up momentum at any time, so we can’t take any team lightly,” quoted Ajinkya Rahane during the CEAT Cricket Rating Awards ceremony on Monday.
Our team is pretty strong says Ajinkya Rahane
The upcoming World Cup will be contested in a round-robin format, the same which was followed in the 1992 edition. On that occasion, the number of teams was nine with Zimbabwe being the only non-Test-playing nation. This time, however, all 10 teams are Test-playing while two more Test-playing nations – Zimbabwe and Ireland – missed out. Rahane noted that the Indian team has a pretty strong combination and the overall package is very good.
“Overall our team is pretty strong. Our overall package is very good. This time the World Cup will be played in a new format, we will play nine league games, so momentum and consistency will be important,” Rahane added.
Rahane further mentioned that India has an experienced bowling attack with some great fast bowlers and spinners. He stated that all the bowlers in the team are wicket-takers and that increases India’s chances in the upcoming World Cup.
“Our overall attack, both pace and spin, is very experienced. The good thing is that all the bowlers in our team are wicket-takers and the team which has wicket-taking bowlers, their chances increase. We have bowlers who can pick up wickets in any situation,” he furthered.
The right-hander mentioned that the English conditions will certainly suit the Indian bowlers. “The English conditions will definitely help our bowlers because they know the conditions well having played their recently. They will definitely have to make some adjustments but that won’t be a problem,” the Test vice-captain inferred.
While revealing his prediction for the upcoming showpiece event, Rahane said, “I don’t believe in pinpointing any particular team, but England is a good team. New Zealand have done well in ICC tournaments and West Indies is an unpredictable side. They can beat any team on their day.”