Kolkata: Virat Kohli led Team India will take on Steve Smith’s Australia in the second ODI, which will be played at Eden Gardens pitch in Kolkata on Thursday. India has already gained upper hand in the five-match ODI series by winning the rain-curtailed first ODI in Chennai by 26 runs.
The second ODI could witness another truncated match as the weathermen have not ruled out the possibility of intermittent showers, especially in the evening hours. With rain threat looming large, the Eden Gardens remained under cover ahead of the second ODI.
Heavy rain that lashed the eastern city of Kolkata on Wednesday forced the Australian and Indian teams to skip net practice on the eve of their second one-day international. Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who is the president of CAB, also inspected the conditions and was seen giving instructions while the ground remained under cover.
“The pitch and ground conditions are just perfect. It’s an ideal condition what’s required for a One-Day International contest but I cannot say whether it will rain or not,” CAB pitch curator Sujan Mukherjee, who’s putting in hard yards despite flu for last two days, was quoted as saying by PTI.
“Who would think India to score 281/7 from being five down for 87 in the 22nd over. I cannot say they will make how many runs but the wicket will help both batsmen and bowlers,” Mukherjee added before saying, “We are equipped to cover the entire ground and there is enough machinery to clear up even if it rains but it depends on the intensity and duration.”
Steve Smith-led Australia will be looking to bounce back from the loss in Chennai. Smith has been under a lot of pressure in recent times, his side made an early exit from the Champions Trophy in England in June. After the end of the pay dispute between Australian players and Cricket Australia, the Australians toured Bangladesh where they were held to a draw in the Test series which was played last month. Losing the ongoing series against India will put his captaincy under serious concern.
Virat Kohli and his boys are on a hot streak right now. The men in blue first trashed Sri Lanka 9-0 in their own backyard, and now playing at home they lead the Australians in the five-match ODI series.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami.
Australia: Steve Smith (captain ), David Warner, Hilton Cartwright, Matthew Wade (wicketkeeper), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, James Faulkner, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis and Aaron Finch.