This World Cup is going to be very competitive as the game has become faster: Rohit

Mumbai: India skipper Rohit Sharma is expecting the upcoming ODI World Cup in the country to be a highly-competitive affair since “the game has become faster”.

Twenty-20 cricket, the slam bang version of the game, has impacted all formats, including the traditional five-day games where the batters are not averse to going for their strokes from the word go.

India will aim for their third title and the second at home when they begin their campaign against five-time champions Australia in Chennai on October 8.

India play all their nine league matches at different venues including, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Lucknow and Bengaluru.

“This World Cup is going to be very competitive as the game has become faster and teams are playing more positively than ever before,” Rohit was quoted as saying in an ICC release.

“All this augurs well for fans worldwide, promising them many thrilling moments. We look forward to preparing well and being at our best this October-November,” he added.

After their duel with Australia, the hosts will move to Delhi for a clash against Afghanistan on October 11.

INDIA VS PAKISTAN: India’s much-anticipated clash with arch-rival Pakistan is scheduled for October 15 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

The two Asian neighbours now play against each other only at the ICC and ACC events as bilateral cricket ties are frozen due to diplomatic tension. The most recent match between the two nations was during the T20 World Cup in Australia, last year. India and Pakistan have faced each other seven times in ODI World Cup – in 1992, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2011, 2015 and 2019.

The only time they didn’t clash in a 50-over World Cup was in 2007 when both the teams crashed out of the tournament in the opening round itself.

India’s other big-ticket fixtures include matches against New Zealand and England on October 22 and 29 in Dharamsala and Lucknow respectively.

FORMAT: The tournament retains the round-robin format of last time with all teams playing against each other for a total of 45 league matches.

There are six day matches in the tournament, which will start at 10:30am IST.

All other matches, including the knockouts, will be day-night fixtures starting at 2pm IST.

The top four teams will qualify for the semifinals to be played in Mumbai on November 15 and in Kolkata on November 16. The semifinals and the final will have reserve days.

If India qualify for the semifinals, they will play their last-four stage game in Mumbai.

India’s schedule:  India vs Australia, Oct 8, Chennai India vs Afghanistan, Oct 11, Delhi India vs Pakistan, Oct 15, Ahmedabad India vs Bangladesh, Oct 19, Pune India vs New Zealand, Oct 22, Dharamsala India vs England, Oct 29, Lucknow India vs Qualifier 2, Nov 2, Mumbai India vs South Aafrica, Nov 5, Kolkata India vs Qualifier 1, Nov 11, Bengaluru.