2nd over: India 19-1 (Rohit 10, Kohli 6) Cameron Green shares the new ball, and he starts with a lovely full outswinger that shapes nicely through the air. The rest of the over isn’t much chop though, Rohit making it consecutive leg-stump half-volley boundaries through square-leg, while Kohli demonstrates his timing with a checked drive for four through the covers.
On the TV tight shot, with the bright straw coloured deck and vivid green outfield, you could easily be forgiven for thinking you were in Australia. It’s only when the camera pans out that you realise you’re in India. Oh, and the noise is deafening.
1st over: India 8-1 (Rohit 5, Kohli 1) Not a great over of international cricket, but one that Australia will be very happy with, even with it ending with Rohit clipping a leg-stump half-volley away for four.
WICKET! Gill c Labuschagne b Starc 0 (India 3-1)
Starc begins with a massive wide that tracks nearer the second of two slips than India’s skipper. Rohit then gets off strike easily with a gentle guide down to third with the angle of the left-armer bowling across him from over the wicket. Another wild wide, this time in the vague direction of Gill. Not sure Starc is at the races yet. Lol. Next delivery he has a wicket. Of course he does. Length outside off – nothing delivery really – and Gill wafts without moving his feet and sends a thick edge straight to point.
Mitchell Starc has the ball. Rohit Sharma is on strike. Let’s cricket!
The two sides are out in the middle. The surface looks flat and straw coloured. The outfield lush and emerald. India are in vivid blue with orange accents. Australia canary yellow with dashes of zinc. The umpires are in magenta. It’s a beautiful scene.
Australia backing pace, India backing spin. It’s like UFC 1 when nobody knew which of the martial artists would prevail. Until the Brazilian jiu-jitsu bloke rocked up and mess of everyone.
Visakhapatnam is on India’s east coast where there has been rain around in recent days, but the skies have cleared just in time.
Australia have won the toss and will field
This venue is normally full of runs so Steve Smith is hoping to exploit any juice in the surface following the rain of recent days. Makes sense. Glenn Maxwell pulled sore after his first international outing for a while, hence Ellis’s inclusion.
Rohit would also have bowled first but is still confident there will be turn later on for his attack featuring three spinners.
Rohit Sharma returns to captain the side, so Ishan Kishan makes way, while the spin of Axar Patel is preferred to the grunt of Shardul Thakur.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami
Alex Carey returns behind the stumps, displacing Josh Inglis, while Nathan Ellis comes in for Glenn Maxwell. Still no David Warner.
Australia: Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith (c), Marnus Labuschagne, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Stoinis, Sean Abbott, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Ellis, Adam Zampa
Here’s Geoff’s series preview, if, unlike the ICC you need context to your cricket.
The company line is that this will be useful preparation for the 50-over World Cup in India later this year. That might mean something if Australia did not already have a three-match date in India in September for exactly that purpose. The later series has long been in the calendar, the current one was shoehorned in a couple months ago when it became clear that a few unexploited days could be manufactured between the Tests and the new season of the Indian Premier League. This was also around the time that Cricket Australia cited ethical concerns while cancelling a planned series against Afghanistan due in a similar late-March window.
Hello everybody and welcome to the second ODI of the cricket-for-cricket’s sake series between India and Australia. Weather permitting, we’ll be underway in Visakhapatnam at 1.30pm local time (7pm AEDT).
Smash cut to Geoff Lemon’s introduction from the first ODI on Friday:
If you want another indication of how meaningful this series is, no Australian media outlet is covering it. None. All of us who did the Test series headed for the exits afterwards. Even the cricket.com.au contingent from the in-house Cricket Australia site. They went to the Caribbean and Bangladesh on the team plane during the pandemic for white-ball tours, but not this. Cricbuzz and Cricinfo will have their Australian correspondents at this first match in Mumbai, but only because they had other things to take care of in the same city. Nobody will be travelling to the second and third matches.
Why? Because this series was added only a couple of months ago and serves no purpose aside from filling screen time. English players were scathing about the one-dayers they played right after the T20 World Cup last November, and half their reserve players preferred to play the Pakistan Super League T20s than show up in Bangladesh for England matches over the past couple of weeks. We’re at an interesting stage in the life cycle of bilateral contests.
Friday’s series opener was far from a classic with bowlers from both sides dominating before KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja steered India home by five wickets.
Let’s see what we have in store today.
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