England landed in Guwahati on Thursday night for the 2023 World Cup warm-up match against India.
England men’s cricket team arrived in Guwahati in the late hours of Thursday ahead of its first warm-up match against India in the 2023 ODI World Cup. The defending champions in the tournament, England will also kickstart the marquee edition with the opener against New Zealand in a rematch of the 2019 final at the iconic Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. However, England’s journey to Guwahati didn’t go as smoothly as they might have hoped.
England’s star batter Jonny Bairstow expressed his frustration as England’s journey to India for the World Cup extended to more than 38 hours, according to a story on his Instagram profile. Bairstow took to the social media platform to provide an update, expressing his displeasure with the team still on the plane after more than 38 hours since takeoff. The 34-year-old shared a photo featuring the England squad and members of the public.
The English batter called the trip “utter chaos.”
Following their warm-up match against India, England will gear up to face Bangladesh in an additional warm-up match as part of their preparations before taking on New Zealand next Thursday. Matthew Mott’s currently holds the fifth position in the world rankings, with India, Pakistan, Australia, and South Africa ahead.
England’s campaign in the tournament could entail extensive travel, similar to rest of the participating teams bar Pakistan, who will play their World Cup matches at five venues in the group stage. Eight of England’s games will be held at different locations throughout the country; the cities on their itinerary encompass Dharamsala, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Pune, and Kolkata. The only exceptions are Chennai and Hyderabad.
Squads has ‘great flexibility’
Speaking ahead of the tournament, England coach Mott said: “We’re close but it’s still a while away. And we don’t know how guys will pull up, [it is] a quick turnaround when we land in India. We’ve got a rough idea, then it’s about opposition, whether we go batter-heavy, bowler-heavy. The squad we have picked gives us great flexibility.
“I do [expect to use more than 13], because of the venues, the travel, certain players thrive, others don’t go so well. That’s why when you pick the squad, you do a lot of ‘what if?’ scenarios.”
Last month, England saw the return of star player Ben Stokes in the ODI setup; Stokes had announced his retirement from the format last year but made a U-turn on the decision, and England will be aiming at capitalising on the batter’s brilliant run over the past few months.