- Warm-up matches crucial to prepare for World Cup, says Younis.
- Warm-up matches offer opportunity to address weaknesses: Younis.
- India to play warm-ups against England and Netherlands.
With the commencement of warm-up matches for the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup on September 29, the renowned Pakistani fast-bowling legend, Waqar Younis, believes these matches offer an opportunity for players to enhance their skills by addressing their weaknesses.
Pakistan, the champions of the 1992 World Cup, is scheduled to play two warm-up matches, one against New Zealand on September 29 and another against Australia on October 3. They will then kick off their World Cup campaign against the Netherlands on October 6 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.
Younis emphasized the significance of warm-up matches in providing insights into the conditions of the foreign pitches. He mentioned that teams use these matches to identify and rectify weaknesses within their squad, as they don’t carry the same level of intensity and pressure as actual tournament matches. Since there’s no pressure to win or lose in warm-ups, teams can effectively work on their shortcomings. Younis also pointed out that teams keep an eye on their opponents during these matches to exploit their weaknesses in subsequent games.
He stated, “Warm-up matches may lack intensity, but they provide an excellent platform to address and improve weaknesses.”
India, the host nation and two-time World Cup champions (in 1983 and 2011), will play warm-up matches against defending champions England in Guwahati on September 30 and against the Netherlands on October 3.
Former Indian left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan likened the importance of practice games to tightening nuts and bolts. He suggested that the Indian team could use these matches to fine-tune various aspects of their game, such as Ravindra Jadeja’s batting or testing different player combinations. It’s an opportunity to give players who are not in top form more chances and assess their performance, especially in the final overs.
Dale Steyn, the legendary South African fast bowler, emphasized the need for players to avoid injuries during warm-up matches just before the World Cup begins. South Africa is set to play warm-up matches against Afghanistan and New Zealand in Thiruvananthapuram on September 29 and October 2. According to Steyn, the primary goal of these matches is for players to get accustomed to the conditions, get valuable time in the middle, and build confidence. However, he stressed that the utmost priority is to emerge from these warm-up games without any injuries, ensuring that players remain fit for the main event.
In summary, warm-up matches provide teams with a valuable opportunity to acclimatize to conditions, address weaknesses, and fine-tune their strategies, all while minimizing the risk of injuries before the World Cup.
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