Indian fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar says the team have plenty of time to finalise plans for their opening game of the World Cup against the Proteas on 5 June.
As a South African fan or Proteas player, thinking about the match against India is too far ahead. The Proteas still have England and Bangladesh to play before they take on India at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on 5 May.
This is puzzling. How did India manage to skip playing a game in the opening week of the tournament before taking on South Africa in their first game of the competition?
This gives them the opportunity to analyse the Proteas deeply in their first two matches before taking them on.
The Proteas’ last ODI series in South Africa against India saw the hosts pummeled to a 5-1 defeat in 2018. On that tour, however, the Proteas were without Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock, who were all ruled out through injury. They were also led by the inexperienced Aiden Markram.
Kumar admitted they are in no a rush to prepare for their opener, with a week until then.
‘You always want to start with a win in the World Cup, but right now I cannot say what we will be thinking or planning. We have almost a week.
‘When we practice and have meetings then we will decide what we need to do against them [South Africa] and their individual players.’
India lost their first warm-up match against New Zealand by 6 wickets. But they bounced back and secured an emphatic 95-run win over Bangladesh in their second practice match.
‘The World Cup is a big platform. Yes, the pressure will be there, but I am excited and confident, as I have toured here earlier. I know the England conditions,’ he said.
‘In these two warm-ups [against New Zealand and Bangladesh] I acclimatised myself to know what to do in the tournament and what conditions will be.’
The Proteas play England on Thursday 30 May, followed by Bangladesh on Sunday 2 June, before they take on bitter rivals India on Wednesday 5 June.