ANI Photo | “They are integral for players to know their roles”: Australia’s Shane Watson on importance of WC warm-up games

Former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson said that the warm-up games ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup will be extremely integral for teams to help their players find their feet and fully know their roles. 
In an exclusive show curated by Star Sports, two-time ICC Cricket World Cup winners Gautam Gambhir and Shane Watson converged to delve into India’s prospects at the upcoming World Cup.
Speaking exclusively to Star Sports, StarCast expert for ‘Mission World Cup’, Shane Watson spoke on how crucial the warm-up games are to build momentum for the World Cup, he said “These warm-up games they are integral. For sure, you want to be able to play as close to your first and starting 11 for India against Australia; as close as you can. Because then you can build momentum, everyone knows what their roles are, everybody knows how to fulfil those roles. And then to play those two warm-up games, just for everyone to be able to find their feet and know exactly what those roles are.”
“The number five position is so important for any team, especially because that is one of the biggest question marks for India, and that number 8 spot. So, for sure those two positions in particular, but it is really important to build that confidence and build that momentum even in those practice matches. People do not realise how important those practice matches are. I know how important it was in 2007, in the lead-up to the first game, our confidence in the Aussie team was a bit low but the first practice match we played against England we really started to build our confidence in that 2007 World Cup campaign. So, you certainly cannot take those games lightly. They are very important just to bring everyone together and start building that momentum.”
Gambhir also spoke on the importance of the warm-up matches for India before the World Cup, he said, “Massive, especially from, and I keep repeating, from number 5 and number 8’s point of view, what combination India is going to play and whatever combination India needs to play, I think the most important thing is they play the same team that they are supposed to play on the 8th against Australia.”
India’s final assignment before the World Cup at home will be a three-ODI series against Australia, with the first match taking place on Friday. After this, they will play WC warm-up games against England (September 30) and the Netherlands (October 3). India will then start its World Cup campaign on October 8 against the Aussies at Chennai. (ANI)

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