The much-awaited India-New Zealand encounter will have a delayed start as one of the best consequences owing to the extremely wet weather in Nottingham. The city has been under a yellow alert – the first stage of weather warnings, meaning the weather could worsen - since Monday, casting doubt over India's third World Cup.
If reports in the local media are anything to go by, the rains continued late into the night which forced authorities to cancel multiple events all across the city. On the eve of the match, the Indian team too was forced to limit their practice session to mere throwdowns owing to gloomy weather, rain and massive patches of puddles on the outfield.
The met department has predicted more than 50 per cent chances of rain throughout Thursday, making it near impossible for a full fifty over game to take place.
What happens if the game is washed out?
If the weather persists and rain washes out the tie, India will be more affected than New Zealand. The Kiwis have already won three games and they will earn another point after this match, which means that they need to win a minimum of three more matches in the remaining five fixtures to qualify for the semi-finals.
However, India, a side which is one of the favourites and which has made a strong start to their campaign, will be more disappointed as they enjoy a good recent record against New Zealand. India have beaten New Zealand six times in their last seven encounters.
KL Rahul will open the innings
Ahead of the match, India were dealt a blow to Shikhar Dhawan which means that KL Rahul will be slotted in as the opener. This was confirmed by batting coach Sanjay Bangar.
"Playing in various situations helps you understand the game better. So, if you're a top-order batsman and you get to bat in the middle-order, then you get to know the challenges faced by the middle-order. If a player is able to do that, it helps the team big time," said the batting coach.
The biggest toss-up will be between Vijay Shankar and Dinesh Karthik and owing to the conditions and the fact that Shankar was picked as the number 4 batsman, he will get the nod ahead of Karthik.
With so much rain around, it will also be interesting to see if Kohli plays with both his wrist-spinners or opts for Mohammad Shami as the third seamer after Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Kumar. There are decisions to be made, but the eyes will be fixed on the skies for both the captains.