The upcoming World Cup will be the fifth time England will host Cricket’s most important tournament. They hosted the first three editions and another one in 1999. So after a 20-year break, the Cricket World Cup is coming back to its birthplace!
Indians, like most of the other sub-continental nations, have struggled to adjust with England’s climate and pitches in the past. Factually speaking, the country has just three test victories to show for in its 43 years-long history of cricket in England (with Ajit Wadekar (1971), Kapil Dev (1986) and Rahul Dravid (2007) being the lucky ones to win there). However, with the historic 1983 World Cup triumph and 2013 Champions Trophy victory, Team India has more than made up for its struggles here.
This time, Kohli’s men have the golden chance of repeating the heroics of 1983. The 30-year old could become only the second Indian to lift the World Cup at the famous Lord’s. But there is a long way to go before the Lord’s. India will play 9 games in the group stage at six different grounds So how will India perform at six different venues? What strategies should be made for those games?
Let us take a look at 2019 Cricket World Cup Venues where India will play their group stage games:
6The Rose Bowl, Southampton:
Vs South Africa (5th June) | Vs Afghanistan (22nd June)
One of the most picturesque grounds in England, the Rose Bowl will host India’s first game of the World Cup. The Men in Blue will face South Africa on 5th June here and will be back to take on Afghanistan on 22nd June.
England and Pakistan recently played at the Rose Bowl where the game ended with 734 runs and just 10 wickets in 100 overs. Needless to say, it will be raining boundaries in Southampton on 5th June. Although the conditions on the given day might change the situation, Rose Bowl’s pale brown and dry pitch is likely to stay a batting paradise. Spinners might get some help from the dry and rough patches, so dealing with Rashid Khan will be a task for Indians on 22nd June.
A flat track is always a great sign for Indians as they rely heavily on the top-order of Rohit, Dhawan and Kohli. And boy, won’t they love to bat on this pitch!
Matches 21 | Bat 1st Won 11 | Bat 2nd Won 10
5Kennington Oval, London:
Vs Australia (9th June)
The Oval, as it is commonly called, is one of the oldest Cricket grounds in England. India will face defending champions Australia at the Oval in their second game of the tournament.
Indians don’t have very happy memories of their recent visit to the Oval when they faced Pakistan in the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy. Chasing Pakistan’s 328, the Men in Blue were bowled out for just 158. But that was more due to India’s batting collapse than anything else.
It is yet another batting surface but if the pitch turns out to be a slow pitch like it was in 2018 for England vs Australia, spinners are in for a treat. Otherwise, expect a 300+ score here too with a little help for reverse swing.
Matches 67 | Bat 1st Won 26 | Bat 2nd Won 39 | NR 2
4Trent Bridge, Nottingham:
Vs New Zealand (13th June)
Yet another 18th-century Cricket ground, Trent Bridge will host India vs New Zealand on 13th June. By the time we get to the Nottinghamshire, the Indian team will be well adjusted with the weather and pitches.
As Virat Kohli said in the Captain’s Media Day, the first 500 might be scored during this World Cup given the condition of the pitches. Trent Bridge is yet another big scoring ground as England proved it against Pakistan. They chased Pak’s 340 with three balls and three wickets to spare.
But bowlers can get the best out of this pitch, especially spinners if they apply themselves cleverly. In India’s tour of England last year, Kuldeep Yadav wreaked havoc on this very ground, taking 6-25. Rohit Sharma will also have happy memories of the Trent Bridge, having scored a century in the same game.
Matches 44 | Bat 1st Won 18 | Bat 2nd Won 23 | Tied 2 | NR 1
3Old Trafford, Manchester:
Vs Pakistan (16th June) | Vs West Indies (27th June)
The Old Trafford gets the honour of hosting one of the most intense games of the Cricket World Cup – India vs Pakistan. The two neighbours will meet on 16th June, for the 7th time, with India absolutely dominating the records like a rare football score, 6-0.
Unlike other grounds in this list, the last two games played at the Old Trafford have been low scoring affairs. Spinners are definitely going to play a crucial role on this ground, so it will be interesting to see which Asian team comes on the top against the spin bowling. India boasts one of the best spin attacks right now with Kuldeep, Chahal and Jadeja. Pakistan, oh the other hands, will be a little inexperienced in that area and will rely on their pace attack.
While India vs Pakistan will be a cracker of a game, the game against West Indies looks much straight forward for Kohli’s men. West Indies are not in a great form going into the tournament and their T20-friendly side has failed to keep patients on spinner-friendly pitches.
Matches 46 | Bat 1st Won 18 | Bat 2nd Won 27 | NR 1
Vs England (30th June) | Vs Bangladesh (2nd July)
India will play two very important games of the tournaments at the Edgbaston – where they won the 2013 Champions Trophy. Men in Blue will face the hosts on 30th June and Bangladesh in the second last game of the round robin on 2nd July.
The tournament will be heading towards the business end by India comes to Birmingham to play these two games. Hence, it is important for them to do well at the Edgbaston, especially against two very dangerous sides, tournament favourites and the underdogs.
In the last ODI played at this venue, Rohit’s century sent Bangladesh home in the semi-finals of the 2017 Champions Trophy. Edgbaston is not an easy ground to bat on, compared to others in the World Cup and hence 300+ will be a great target to set more often than not.
The pitch has helped both spin and pace in the 2017 Champions Trophy, depending on the climate situation.
Matches 58 | Bat 1st Won 24 | Bat 2nd Won 27 | Tied 1 | NR 6
Vs Sri Lanka (6th July)
India’s 9th and the final game of the group stages will be played at Headingley, Leeds against Sri Lanka on 6th July. The stadium has worked wonders for teams batting second and India’s batting line-up might just love that.
Pace bowlers are likely to get help from the pitch with the new ball and it could be perfect for someone like Bhuvi. But at the same time, the likes of Rohit and Dhawan will have to play the first few overs carefully any not open the floodgates. As the ball gets older, batting gets a little easier and with powerful hitting in the last few overs, 320-330 is not a difficult score in the first innings.
But anything less than 280-290 will be difficult to defend on this pitch for any side. Spinners could play a crucial role in controlling the middle overs.
Matches 40 | Bat 1st Won 14 | Bat 2nd Won 24 | NR 2
This concludes our blog on the 2019 Cricket World Cup Venues.