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A strange stop in the World Cup marathon for India and Australia at Vizag

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When you’re in Vizag, it’s hard to miss the renovations that are going on. Andhra Pradesh’s newly named capital is getting ready to host the G20 summits by painting the city walls and repaving the roads. As a way to count down to the event, a city marathon was planned to start at RK beach on Sunday morning. However, bad weather made it impossible to hold the race. The Andhra Cricket Association will hope that the weather doesn’t get in the way of the second ODI between India and Australia, which is scheduled for the same day as the marathon. This is another big event that the city hopes to use to get ready for the G20.

India was ahead when they got to the city, but they knew that there wasn’t much of a difference in Mumbai. And that Australia’s long line-up of all-rounders could hurt them on the kind of pitches that are good for batting that are usually found in Vizag. In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, India would like to look at death bowling. Still, the way KL Rahul is playing in the middle order gives them hope; it’s a long-term plan for the World Cup that seems to be working just in time.

Australia, on the other hand, lost at the Wankhede when they played their own game. On a pitch with seam movement all the way through, their seamers couldn’t quite get the older ball talking like Mohammed Shami did for India earlier. Here in Vizag, though, they will be looking forward to getting used to a field that will be more like what they will see at the World Cup. How they decide what a good score is or how to defend it with a wet ball will be a big learning curve for them. With as many as eight batters in the team, it would be interesting to see how Australia does.

When: The 2nd ODI is on March 19 at 1:30pm local time.

Where: Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam

What to expect: Scattered thunderstorms are expected in the afternoon, so the game could be cut short by rain. The pitches here are usually very good for making shots, and India scored 387/5 against the West Indies here in 2019. Five of the eight men’s ODIs here have been won by the team that was chasing, and one match ended in a tie.

The latest on the team:

India: Since the games were only a day apart, India didn’t have time to practice the day before the game. Rohit Sharma, who missed the first ODI because of personal obligations, is expected to lead the team. India could give Mohammed Shami a break, since he had a long delivery in the fourth Test and went all out in the first ODI.

Probable XI: Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik/Jaydev Unadkat

Alex Carey missed the first ODI because he was sick, but he is expected to play this one. David Warner, who was out with a concussion and a small break in his elbow, is also likely to come back. It’s hard to say which middle-order batter he could get out. Marnus Lanuschagne is under a lot of pressure to perform. In his 21 innings at No.4, where Australia wants him to do well, he has an average of just over 33.

Possible XI: David Warner, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith (c), Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Sean Abbott, Mitchell Starc, and Adam Zampa.

Did you know?

India has won each of its last eight ODIs, but Australia has only won seven of its last eleven.

Over seven innings, Warner and Head’s opening combination averages 114.

The words they used:

“We are trying out a few different lineups, with eight batters… We know that if we’re going to play eight batters, we still have to play a certain way until the 35th over or whenever it is. Then, when the time comes, our back-end power hitters can take control of the situation.” Marcus Stoinis is willing to learn from his mistakes as he prepares for the World Cup.

“Batting with Jadeja was a lot of fun. As soon as the left-hander walked in, I got a few balls that were loose. Even the best bowlers make mistakes like that. Jaddu hit the ball well and ran fast between the wickets. He’s in great shape and he knows what to do in those situations.” – KL Rahul on his win in Mumbai.

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