SPORTSTOP NEWS

Heavy rain forecast ahead of India vs New Zealand World Cup game

Nottingham

Never ending rain and gloomy skies have been a dampener, but even amid them all, Tuesday (June 11) turned out to be quite an eventful day at the World Cup for India in Nottingham.

India were to practise for Thursday’s clash against New Zealand at Trent Bridge from 2 pm, but the weather wouldn’t allow that. Despite the training being cancelled, India’s management had a busy day as they had to make a potentially tournament changing decision – on Shikhar Dhawan’s injury.

Dhawan sustained a finger injury in India’s match against Australia when trying to negotiate a short ball from Pat Cummins. The decision could have been straightforward if it involved a lesser player, but Dhawan is one of the most important cogs in the wheel for India. He was the leading run scorer in Champions Trophies of 2013 and 2017, and India’s leading run-scorer in World Cup 2015. Despite the injured finger, Dhawan went on to score a match-winning ton against Australia at The Oval.

Dhawan traveled with the team to Nottingham on Monday, and was taken to Leeds for further scans on Tuesday morning along with physio Patrick Farhart. Once they returned, the decision makers – Virat Kohli along with the coaches – had a meeting around 2pm at the team hotel to decide on the further course of action. They decided to give Dhawan more time to recover, keeping him ‘under observation’ with the squad. Had they decided to release Dhawan and seek a replacement, Dhawan couldn’t have made it back for latter stages unless another player is injured.

Through it all, the rain never stopped, and is unlikely to in the near future as well. There is a possibility that Thursday’s game too could be washed out; there was little activity at the ground and the pitch was firmly under cover.

The Indian team largely stuck to the hotel, hitting the gym indoors.

The New Zealand team, though, were not going to miss out on an opportunity to train even in the chilly conditions. They stuck to their 10am training schedule and practised at the indoor nets at Trent Bridge.

It’s likely that sides will have to stick to indoor facilities on the eve of the game, as the forecast is not promising.

A ‘yellow warning’ for rain has been in force across Nottingham since Monday and continues until midday on Thursday. The met department expected ‘heavy prolonged rain’ that could lead to ‘localized flooding’.

“We want to play. It’s the world cup, against India, it’s an opportunity to get two points,” said Lockie Ferguson when asked about the possibility of a washout. “We don’t want to get rained out games, don’t think any players do. But we can’t control that.”

It’s indeed uncontrollable, but the frustrating wait for cricket friendly conditions continues.

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