New Delhi: India are the World Cup’s marathon men, the only team who will play at all nine tournament venues, clocking up an exhausting 12,000km (7,500 miles).
Despite the gruelling schedule, batting coach Vikram Rathour on Tuesday insisted they have the players to cope.
“I think that is the biggest advantage we have. We have the personnel to play on different surfaces,” Rathour told reporters ahead of Wednesday’s clash against Afghanistan in New Delhi.
Playing at all nine centres
India started their campaign with a six-wicket win over Australia in Chennai down in the south-east before heading back to the capital.
After Wednesday, they head to Ahmedabad for Saturday’s mega-clash with Pakistan before stops at Pune, Dharamsala in the Himalayas, Lucknow, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru to complete the gruelling group stage schedule.
India could end up revisiting two of those cities in the semi-finals and final.
“No concerns. We understand it’s nine different venues, nine different wickets. But the strength of this team is adaptability,” said Rathour.
Bowling combination for all pitches
“We can go with three seamers, we can go with all-rounders, we have three very good spinners in the team and we have the batting unit which can adapt and play in any conditions.
He added: “So, at the moment, I think we are doing well as far as the team is concerned, everybody is fit.”
“Hopefully, (Shubman) Gill will be back in the mix pretty soon,” he said of the opening batsman, who was hospitalised after contracting dengue fever.
At Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium on Wednesday, India will be up against an Afghan side full of quality spinners including Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
However, Rathour insisted India are not focusing on individual players and opponents.
“We’re not looking at players’ names, we are looking to do our things right,” he said.
“We are trying to focus on the process and we have the belief that the team that we have, if we can do our things right and just focus on the process and not worry on the result, we’ll achieve what we are trying to achieve.”
Coach backs Kishan
Against Australia, Ishan Kishan opened the batting in Gill’s absence but was dismissed for a duck off Australian quick Mitchell Starc in the first over of India’s chase.
Rathour said the left-handed Kishan understands his role and hopes “he comes good tomorrow”.
Rohit Sharma’s India are looking to end a world title drought stretching back to their Champions Trophy win in 2013.
They last won a World Cup in 2011 at home to add to their maiden 1983 title secured in the United Kingdom.