Adapting to Conditions Key to India’s World Cup Campaign
Starting 31 January 2019, India have a 4-8 win-loss record in international matches across formats.
Starting 31 January 2019, India have a 4-8 win-loss record in international matches across formats.(Photo: AP)

Adapting to Conditions Key to India’s World Cup Campaign

India cannot have too many more ‘one bad day’.

India suffered a jolt at the very beginning of their World Cup 2019 campaign, as the Indian team was bundled out for 179 in 39.2 overs, in the pre-tournament warm-up match played at The Oval on Saturday, 25 May.

The opponents New Zealand chased down the target quite comfortably in 37.1 overs to win by six wickets.

The Indian team will not attach too much importance to the result since it was only a warm-up match. But is that the right approach?

What if the same loss was against tenth-ranked Afghanistan or ninth-ranked Sri Lanka?

What if India go on to lose the second warm-up match to Bangladesh on Tuesday? Will the captain and the coach still shrug off the loss and not be worried about losing to a lower-ranked side?

Ravindra Jadeja said that there was nothing to worry about after the loss against New Zealand in the warm-up match. 
Ravindra Jadeja said that there was nothing to worry about after the loss against New Zealand in the warm-up match. 
(Photo: AP)
There’s a good chance the captain and team management will most likely brush aside Saturday’s result as a one-off and use the ‘one bad day’ excuse.

But look back at India’s results in the recent past, and the captain and coach, and fans should be extremely concerned.

Starting 31 January 2019, India have a 4-8 win-loss record in international matches across formats.

Even if Saturday’s match wasn’t an international contest, it was the Indian team that took the field, it was against an international opponent and the Indian team were completely outplayed.

So essentially, India’s recent record in recent contests reads 4 wins and 9 losses.

Indian Batsmen Need to Learn to Fight Conditions

The Indian batsmen need to learn to fight the elements. Too often – particularly when they’ve travelled to England – India have struggled when they’ve been at the receiving end of conditions.

Rohit and Shikhar have seldom performed whenever the team encountered seaming condtions. 
Rohit and Shikhar have seldom performed whenever the team encountered seaming condtions. 

Remember the Test series in England in 2018 – when India repeatedly got the worse of the conditions, only for the skies to clear up or for the pitch to flatten up when it was the hosts’ turn to bat?

On Saturday, too, the Indian team were at the receiving end of conditions. After opting to bat on a surface with plenty of green, the Indian team lost three top order wickets within the first six overs – all three batsmen done in by the moving ball.

Virat Kohli looked good at the crease for a brief while, before he, too, was done in by a moving ball. India had lost their top four in the first eleven overs and were on the back-foot for the rest of the match.

Boult picked up 4 wickets in the Warm up game against India on a seaming deck. 
Boult picked up 4 wickets in the Warm up game against India on a seaming deck. 
(Photo: Twitter/@Blackcaps)

Playing the moving ball or playing on tracks which has a bit of juice has always been India’s bugbear.

What if it transpires that India always end up having the rough end of the conditions in the coming World Cup?

Will India go down without a fight? The Indian batsmen need to figure out means to conquer the conditions. They need to figure out a way immediately.

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