This blog is in continuation of the Part1.
In the previous article, we looked at how England, Pakistan, West Indies, Bangladesh, and Australia are gearing up. Let us look at the preparation of the remaining five teams.
At least 9 of their 15 players are currently active in IPL, keeping them in a touch of the game time. The worrying factor is that barring Williamson, no ones else have played more than 5 games in the IPL. It is the upcoming bilateral series against Aussies this month, that they will look to milk most out of. In the series, they’ll try and find the right balance for the team as well as some game time for the likes of Neesham, Latham, Nicholls, etc.
Other favorites to win the world cup, all their players are getting good game time except Kuldeep. IPL being hosted by India, all the squad members of the world cup are playing. Though Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma’s form was a worrying factor at the start of IPL, they have coped well in the second half.
However, they do not play any ODI tournament after IPL and run directly into the world cup matches. They’ll have to use the world cup warm up games to find the balance and best playing XI per the conditions in England.
The Afghans don’t look too prepared for the world cup at the moment. Though they did not have the game time in the past month, they have the chance for some in the week coming ahead. Afghanistan would be up against Scotland for two ODIs. This allows them some game time as well as the prospect of looking at right XI. The bright spot for them is the participation of Nabi, Rashid Khan, and Mujeeb.
The island nation has a lot to worry at the moment, on and off the field. The squad selection has raised the eyebrows world over, and recent terrorist attacks haven’t allowed them to focus on the preparation.
The squad selection is based on domestic performance, which includes too many players with too few international experiences in recent time, and the new captain for the side. All these factors generally do not bode well for tournaments like the world cup. Unfortunately, the team doesn’t even have a tournament to look to before getting into the world cup. So, warm up games are the only source of finding a right XI, game time and whatever else they want.
Proteas – the ever dark horses, are not too worried about the game time. 40% of their player participating in IPL and the likes of Markram and Pretorius are playing in the Royal London Cup. Hene, half of their squad has a good game time.
Though the injuries to Ngidi, Duminy, and Steyn is a worry, they are expected to recover in time. The dipping form of David Miller remains a worry though. Even South Africa doesn’t play any tournament before the world cup. Hence, even they would look to use the warm-up matches for some game time and finding the right balance.