Wednesday (June 5) is set to be a big day as India will be launching their campaign in the cricket World Cup and their opponents are South Africa. The match promises to be an explosive one as the Proteas have lost both their games so far and will coming hard at India who will be trying to get into the groove. Virat Kohli’s men haven’t played international cricket since the home series against Australia in March and the last of their two warm-up games played before the big event was almost a week ago.
Nevertheless, all eyes will be on some of the top performers of the Indian line-up, including Kohli, hid deputy Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, among others. After the 2017 Champions Trophy, Indian captain Virat Kohli and the team management took a big decision to play the wrist-spin duo comprising of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in the limited-overs format.
Since then, both of them have delivered a number of sensational performances to help India register some memorable victories. The Kuldeep-Chahal combo is a major reason for India being counted as the top contenders to lift the 2019 World Cup title.
But cut to a year and a half later, and as another assignment against South Africa awaits, that wheel has undergone some wear and tear. If you considered IPL form, Kuldeep Yadav's might cause a few worries for the Indian team. The spin-combination for India could possibly dictate a few other team combinations, looking at the lower-order batting. Bhuvneshwar gets ahead if both wrist-spinners get a look-in, while Mohammed Shami looks a better prospect along with Ravindra Jadeja in the eleven.
"Look, personally, I would tell you something. I have had great IPL seasons and I have entered playing for the country and I have felt like, I feel like I'm going to dominate this tournament so much and you can't put bat to ball.
"So every tournament, every game that you play has no connection to what you have done in the past. You can only take out the positives and the learnings and take it to the next tournament or game that you play. Whether you have done well in the IPL or you haven't, you still have to work hard. And to me, IPL has no connection to the World Cup,” said Virat Kohli on the concerns relating to Kuldeep’s IPL form.
Kuldeep's form notwithstanding, selection questions linger for India on the eve of their first game of World Cup, 2019 and particularly in the bowling department.
"Look, we selected a side that gives us all kinds of options depending upon the conditions we are going to play in. Somewhere you might see three seamers, somewhere two wrist-spinners, somewhere you might see a wrist-spinner and a finger spinner playing together," said Kohli.
The dynamics will change from morning to afternoon big time
The three-seamer combination, along with Hardik Pandya, is not something that India have gone in with many a time. It has happened ten times since the Champions Trophy, and many of those include games when Hardik Pandya has been unavailable.
A lot of that could be dictated by the conditions in England, and how it impacts bowlers, said Kohli, "And from the bowling point of view as well, even if you play with two spinners, two seamers or three seamers, they are going to be in the game in the first half if you start at 10.30. The dynamics will change from morning to afternoon big time and the bowlers will have to adapt very quickly to that," he concluded.