The Indian cricket team have landed on English soil seeking their third Cricket World Cup title. The Men in Blue will kick-start their campaign against the Proteas on 5th June. But before they start their World Cup campaign, they will play two warm-up games; one each against New Zealand and Bangladesh.
India enter the tournament as one of the favorites alongside the hosts England. They are the No. 2-ranked ODI side in the world and have the second-highest win percentage since the last World Cup.
On paper, the side looks as balanced as ever. However, there are certain areas that the team management might need to address before the tournament starts.
Here is a list of three things India should try out in the two warm-up games:
#1 Play both Vijay Shankar and KL Rahul in the middle order
Chief selector MSK Prasad is of the view that Vijay Shankar is the first choice No. 4 batter and KL Rahul is the back-up opener. However, Shankar's poor form and Rahul's sensational run in the IPL seems to have turned the tables to some extent. There is the possibility that India will opt for Rahul at four.
The only problem with this is the fact that Rahul has been below par whenever used as anything other than an opener in ODIs. Vijay Shankar, on the other hand, is a tried and tested middle-order batsman, who can bat anywhere between number four and seven. That gives Shankar the edge over Rahul.
What the management can do in the warm-up games is give both Rahul and Shankar a chance in the middle order. Rahul at four and Shankar at five has to be the way forward and this will help India gauge the form of the two batsmen and also provide them with an insight into Rahul's ability in the middle order.