Armed with pedigree, personnel and form, favourites India will look to hit the ground running when they face New Zealand in their opening warm-up game of the World Cup today. However, with India yet to clear the haze of confusion over the number four position, it will be much more than a ritual of allowing one top-order batsman after another -- behemoths in their own right -- a hit in the middle.
The outing at the Kennigton Oval will go beyond experimenting with their highly skilled bowling attack, and quite a bit of focus will be on K L Rahul and Vijay Shankar, contenders for the number four slot. Dubbed the most challenging World Cup ever owing to a format that is a throwback to the 1992 edition, Virat Kohli's team still arrived at the United Kingdom confident of adding to its two titles in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) showpiece event.
India won the tournament in 1983 and 2011. Kohli's men, second behind England in the one-day international rankings, will start the tournament among the favourites alongside the host nation and defending champions Australia.