6/1/2019 8:35:37 PM (GMT+3)

India will have to rely on mental toughness in English summer

India will have to rely on mental toughness in English summer

DOHA: English summer awaits the cricket World Cup after 1999. But once again, the freakish and tricky English weather will be one of the crucial factors in determining the best team in a tournament that will get under way next week.

The 10-team World Cup returns to England with a round-robin format that would see the hosts and, one of the favourites launch their campaign against South Africa at the Oval in London on May 30.

The recent England-Pakistan ODI series was a yardstick, with nearly every game fetched 350 plus runs on the grounds that will be used for the World Cup.

England thrashed Pakistan 4-0 in a five-match warm-up series that would surely put the hosts among the top sides.

On the eve of the Indian team’s departure, captain Virat Kohli also felt the seaming conditions would likely favour the batsmen as the pitches would be a tad slow.   

“It’s summer in the UK and the pitches are going to be very good. We expect high-scoring games,” said Kohli in Mumbai.

India, who won their maiden title in England in 1983 and added their second in 2011 at home, start against South Africa in Southampton on June 5.

Early this year, the team has lost to Australia, who showed signs of marked improvement after losing their home series against Kohli’s India last November-December.

The pace bowling attack looks fine with Jasprit Bumrah, world’s top bowler in the one-day format, while Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya complete the pace line-up.

But the two-time champions will have some worries over spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, who claimed 18 wickets for Bangalore in the Indian Premier League. Yet, the performances weren’t up to the desired expectations.

Kohli, who will be leading his country for the first time in a World Cup, insisted that consistency was the only way to advance into the semifinals.

That would be something that India will be working hard on. It’s a long-drawn format, and the team will have to rely on the mental toughness and grit to see them through. (Pic: BCCI/twitter)