One hopes the weather does not interfere in the engrossing battle on offer, as the last thing fans of both the teams here and millions of viewers worldwide, would want is a washout or a curtailed affair, which more often than not becomes a lottery

Spells of sunshine on Saturday brought some cheer to not only the Indian fans but also the Men in Blue ahead of their World Cup match against Australia at The Oval today. Being able to feel the turf under their feet after a rainy Friday surely lifted the spirit of the team members who made it to the ground for an optional practice session. Now, all they will be hoping for is that the focus of everyone will be on the game rather than on a small insignia on MS Dhoni’s wicketkeeping gloves.

There is no doubt that the team will shut out all the controversies and distractions and concentrate on job on hand. Because their next three games are very tough and they need to build on the momentum they got with their hard-fought win over South Africa at Southampton earlier this week.

India to stay with KulCha?

Going into the match the team have to take a major decision which can become crucial to the outcome. With overcast skies and threat of rain, India will have to decide if they will go in with both the wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav or sacrifice the latter and bring in an extra pace bowler — Mohammed Shami. There is no doubt that KulCha bowled very well in tandem against South Africa and the think-tank may well be tempted to go in with an unchanged side. But then, much will depend on how the day dawns today.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli has always stressed that the conditions will greatly influence the team combination and all the players need to be ready to take up the challenge. However, chopping is not the way forward, at least in the early stages of the tournament.

Toughest assignment

Whatever the combination, one thing is certain, it is going to be India’s toughest assignment. Both Australia and India notched up hard-fought wins in their respective games and are battle ready, irrespective of the conditions for the match. One hopes the weather does not interfere in the engrossing battle on offer, as the last thing fans of both the teams here and millions of viewers worldwide, would want is a washout or a curtailed affair, which more often than not becomes a lottery.

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