After a rain washed-out warm-up match against defending champions England in Guwahati on Saturday, where the game was called off without a ball being bowled, Team India are all set for their second and final warm-up fixture for the 2023 ODI World Cup. The Men in Blue will be up against Netherlands, who made it through to their fifth World Cup appearance after finishing second behind Sri Lanka in the Qualifiers event, at the Greenfield Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram. However, India might miss the services of their former India captain Virat Kohli for the match.
According to a report in Cricbuzz, Team India travelled to Thiruvananthapuram from Guwahati, a four-hour journey via flight, on a special aircraft on Sunday evening, but Kohli was not part of the group. The veteran No. 3 batter requested the team management for a leave owing to a personal emergency and hence flew back to Mumbai from Guwahati.
However, the report further added Kohli will be joining the Indian team in Thiruvananthapuram later on Monday.
While India will be hoping for some cricket action in their final warm-up game on Tuesday, the weather in Thiruvananthapuram says otherwise. According to Accuweather, the forecast for Tuesday is – “Cloudy with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm”. The probability of precipitation is 96 per cent and that of a thunderstorm is 46. So far, three warm-up ties have been affected due to rain, two of which were played at Thiruvananthapuram – while the South Africa-Afghanistan match was washed out, Australia-Netherlands tie was reduced to a 23-overs contest before being called off.
While it may not be much of a surprise that India’s second warm-up game might incur a similar fate, captain Rohit Sharma is likely to remain unfazed having termed these fixtures as mere “formality” for Team India, who have been a busy side heading into the World Cup. India won the Asia Cup a fortnight back before beating Australia at home in a three-match contest last week.
India will begin their World Cup campaign on October 8 against Australia in Chennai.