With every ODI match that India plays from now onwards being seen as preparation for the upcoming ICC ODI Cricket World cup, Virat Kohli’s team would like to get all bases covered.
Before the World Cup, some of the most important considerations for Team Management would be to identify the core eleven, bench strength and back up players for each position. They should try to take each of these matches as a knockout match and play accordingly.
There is one important aspect that is not entirely in the hands of the team. A team can ensure that when it comes to skillsets, having tactics in place for different teams and different situations and execution of plans on the field, they prepare themselves to the best of their ability.
There are a few things that no team can fully prepare for as there is some element of luck which is involved in any game. In cricket, the toss of the coin is the most visible manifestation of that luck. On certain pitches, what happens at the toss may impact the outcome of the match to a large extent.
It is important that during this intervening period before the quadrennial tournament, Indian Team should try to simulate match situations where they are faced with a difficult circumstance. For instance, even while batting first, a team may give itself a certain target for the last 10 overs as if that were the target they would need while chasing.
Similarly, losing the toss itself should be seen as one of the first hurdles to overcome, as there may be some important matches in the World Cup, especially at the knock-out stage where the team may not win the toss. So, the Indian team may be asked to bat or bowl by the opposition, when they would have wanted to do the opposite.
From that point of view, losing the toss in the first ODI against Australia in Sydney could actually be a blessing in disguise for the Indian team. It would help the Indian team prepare for similar situations during the World Cup. Winning the match after losing the toss will help the confidence of the team much more than if they had won the toss.
The mentality while approaching the World Cup should be like, toss doesn't matter for the Indian Team to win a match.