In fine form and with the 50-over World Cup in sight, India take on Australia in the second ODI, at the YS Raja Reddy Cricket Stadium in Vishakapatnam. With KL Rahul also bouncing back to form, Rahul Dravid and his management staff will want the Lucknow Super Giants captain to build some momentum and repeat a similar display in the upcoming game. But it looks like the weather gods have other plans and rain could play spoilsport, in what could be bad news for cricket fans.
India won the first ODI by five wickets, at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. With regular captain Rohit Sharma missing the game, Hardik Pandya skippered the side and his aggressive style won over fans and experts. Chasing a target of 189 runs, India raced to 191/5 in 39.5 overs. Coming into bat at no. 5, under-fire Rahul smacked an unbeaten knock of 75 runs off 91 balls, packed with seven fours and a six. Ravindra Jadeja also remained unbeaten with a knock of 45 runs off 69 deliveries, including five fours. Meanwhile, Hardik played a crucial knock of 25 runs off 31 balls, hitting three fours and a maximum. In what turned out to be a poor outing for Aussie bowlers, Mitchell Starc took three wickets.
Initially, Australia were bowled out for 188 in 35.4 overs. Mitchell Marsh top-scored with a knock of 81 runs off 65 balls, including 10 fours and five sixes. Meanwhile, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj bagged three wickets each for the Indian bowling department and Jadeja scalped two dismissals.
Despite the good result, rain could force a washout, which will in turn spoil India’s bid for a series win. The temperature in Vishakhapatnam in the day is expected to be around 26 degrees Celsius, according to Accuweather. It will be mostly cloudy, with occasional rain and a thunderstorm expected in the morning, followed by a shower in spots in the afternoon. In the evening, it is expected to be around 24 degrees Celsius, and it will likely be partly cloudy with a thunderstorm. Towards the end of the second innings, we could expect another thunderstorm too.
Both sides will also be hoping to find the perfect permutations and combinations ahead of the 50-over World Cup, scheduled for this year. With Rishabh Pant injured, India also need to find a regular wicketkeeper for limited-overs cricket, and will also hope to sort out their batting issues. Ishan Kishan is likely to be dropped, with Rohit taking over his place. Many fans will also be hoping for Umran Malik to get a chance. The SRH pacer will be hoping to further add to the selectors’ dilemma for the ICC showpiece event.