In the lead up to the Cricket World Cup 2019, The Indian team had a rather successful warm-up to the tournament as they were one of the few teams that were able to complete both their warm-up matches. Although the 'Men in Blue' did hit a minor stumble with a six-wicket loss against New Zealand after being bundled out before their quota of 50 overs for just 179, they were able to bounce back from that with a dominant victory over Bangladesh.
KL Rahul and MS Dhoni struck fluent centuries against Bangladesh and will hold the key in the middle order while the bigger relief would be the effectiveness of the spinners, with both Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav picking three wickets apiece to help India register a big 96-run victory.
With India's first league stage game scheduled against South Africa on 5th June at The Rose Bowl, here are five takeaways for the Virat Kohli-led side from the warm-up encounters.
#5 The openers will need to hit the straps right from the start
The Indian openers in Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan suffered from consecutive failures in the warm-up games, with neither of them managing to make an early impression. Dhawan looked completely all at sea against the left arm pacers while Rohit has lacked intent thus far.
Dhawan, in particular, has registered two back-to-back single digit scores and will need to re-ignite his form in big tournaments while Rohit Sharma will be banked to produce a dominating start at the top.
According to statistics, India's top three score 52% of the runs on most occasions and if the opposition can break through the opening pair with ease, that would expose a somewhat vulnerable middle order and add pressure on skipper Kohli.
All the eyes would be on the openers when India take guard against South Africa in their first match and with both the openers an important cog in the wheel of the Indian team, one would hope that these two start scoring soon.
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