Team India and the rain gods seem to be travelling hand in hand in this World Cup in England. Wherever Virat Kohli & Co. are travelling rain is following them very closely. Last week, India’s crucial game against New Zealand in Nottingham was washed out and both the teams had to split points. There were also apprehensions over the marquee clash against Pakistan but the game went ahead and India won the rain-curtailed contest by 89 runs (DLS method) in Manchester.
They are now in Southampton and the clouds continue to make things complex. Ahead of the clash against Afghanistan, as the Men in Blue returned for practice after a short break, it was affected by rain.
Team India continues to be one of the only two unbeaten teams in the tournament right now and the game against Afghanistan promises them two points which will help their semi-final qualification bid. Afghanistan, on the other hand, is the only team that is yet to win any game in the tournament so far and sit at the bottom.
The buildup to the game, however, is not very promising several net sessions of the Indian team were affected due to rain on Wednesday and on Thursday. While the forecast for the days was clear, rain arrived unexpectedly and played spoilsport. It was densely cloudy when the Indian players left the stadium after practice and soon, it began to drizzle even as the Afghanistan squad was just starting to warm up.
It rained till late in the evening on Thursday which can be bad news for India. Poor playing conditions could very well delay the start of play, reduce the overs or even prompt the umpires to call it off. Luckily for India, the forecast for Friday and Saturday is positive and there is very little chance for rain.
Team India, meanwhile, was hit by injury concerns during the nets. On Wednesday, all-rounder Vijay Shankar was hit on the toe by a Jasprit Bumrah yorker and he skipped training on Thursday. He did try to get back in the groove and attempted jogging but was uncomfortable and opted out. However, the Tamil Nadu ace is likely to regain his full fitness for Saturday’s clash.