ICC World Cup 2019 | Injury Scare for Vijay Shankar as India Take on Kiwis in First Warm-up

MS Dhoni completes a run run during the second ODI. (Twitter/ ICC)

India will begin their quest to win third World Cup title by ironing out the glitches in the lead up to their first game on June 5. After hitting the ground running with their first practice session in London, Virat Kohli & Co will eye a tough outing in their first World Cup warm-up game against the New Zealand at the Kia Oval on Saturday.The area of concern heading into their World Cup campaign is the No. 4 spot in the batting line-up. The challengers for the position are Karnataka opener KL Rahul and all-rounder Vijay Shankar, who however suffered an injury scare after being hit on the forearm by a Khaleel Ahmed delivery which forced him to leave India’s training session midway at the Oval.

Against a strong New Zealand bowling attack, featuring the likes of Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson, it will be the perfect opportunity to test the available options at the No. 4 position. Most of the other sport in the playing XI pick themselves but Kohli will be keep to give his batsmen as much time under the sun as possible to get used to the English conditions.

The other worry will be the fitness of Kedar Jadhav, who was only cleared by the physio Patrick Farhart just days before India’s departure for the World Cup. Jadhav had a light workout in the practice session at the Oval on Thursday and batted without any discomfort which should be good news for India.

(Image: Twitter/BCCI)

The warm-up tie will give an opportunity to India’s spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal to find their groove, especially the former after an indifferent showing in IPL-12.

Last Five Completed ODIs
India: WWLLL
Lost the last ODI series against Australia 3-2 after winning the first two ODIs

New Zealand: WLWWW
Won the ODI series against Bangladesh 3-0 after losing their last ODI series to India 4-1 at home

Issues to fine tune


The No. 4 position has been cause for debate ever since Ambati Rayudu was left out due to indifferent form. Will it be Rahul? Will it be Shankar? Or will it be Dhoni?

Kohli will look to give all three lengthy stints in the middle to figure out the right person to fill the No. 4 puzzle for India come the World Cup.

New Zealand

Injury to Tom Latham (fractured finger), means Kane Williamson has to figure out his wicketkeeping options. Inexperience Tom Blundell, a surprise pick for the World Cup, will be thrown into the hot seat to keep a back-up ready should Latham not recover in time from his injury.

(Image: AP) (Image: AP)

The Kiwi southpaw is an integral component in the middle-order as well and Williamson will look to test the back-up middle-order options to keep all bases covered.

In form players


Virat Kohli: Indian skipper is without a doubt the premier batsmen in the world in all formats of the game. 10,843 ODI runs at an average of 59.57 with 41 tons makes him one of the all-time greats. So far this year, Kohli has 611 runs in 11 ODIs at an average of 55.54 with three hundreds and a fifty. On a placid batting track at the Oval, Kohli will look to warm-up in style.

New Zealand

Ross Taylor: The former Kiwi skipper has found a fresh wind, especially in ODI cricket. The veteran of 218 ODIs averages an impressive 48.34 in this format with 20 hundreds to his name. In 11 ODIs this year, Taylor has notched up 593 runs at an average of 74.12 at a strike-rate of over 94. Taylor will be the dangerman for the Kiwis, especially against the Indian tweakers in the middle-order.


India: Virat Kohli (capt), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Rohit Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Blundell (wk), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wk), Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.

First Published: May 24, 2019, 7:08 PM IST