India and Australia arrive in Kolkata for second ODI
Kolkata: India and Australia on Monday landed here this afternoon for the second ODI of the five-match series at Eden Gardens after their thumping win over the visitors in Chennai.
Dressed it white T-shirts, the 'men-in-blue' looked relaxed as they headed straight to the team hotel along with their support staff and chief coach Ravi Shastri.
"There's no practice schedule on Monday and everyone will be resting," the local Team India manager said at the airport after both the teams landed via a chartered flight at 3.30pm.
Earlier, the BCCI had posted photos of the Indian team with Mahendra Singh Dhoni relaxing on the floor at the Chennai aiport lounge while others including Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya sitting next to the former skipper.
India defeated the world champions by 26 runs by D/L method in a rain-curtailed ODI last night to draw first blood in the bilateral series.
Dhoni (79 from balls) and allrounder Hardik Pandya (83 from 66) shared a century stand to propel India to 281/7 in 50 overs after they were 87-5 inside 22 overs.
Needing 164 from 21 overs after a two-hour rain delay in Chennai, Australia lost their top four batsmen in eight overs as their run rate stalled to just above four runs an over.
Glenn Maxwell briefly gave rise to hopes of an unlikely victory when he hit 39 from 18 balls, including three consecutive sixes off left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav, but his dismissal paved India's win for a 1-0 lead in the series.
Indore, Bengaluru and Nagpur will host the remaining three ODIs while three T20Is will be held in Ranchi, Guwahati and Hyderabad in the limited overs series.
The second ODI between India and Australia on Thursday could witness another truncated match as the weathermen has 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.
The city has been witnessing frequent showers and Kolkata Met director Ganesh Das has blamed it on circulation over South Bengal. "By September 21, the circulation will be gone but in this month rain is a possibility especially in the evening. It may not however continue for too long," Das said. Hosting Australia for the first time since November 18, 2003, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) is in no mood to take chances. 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 is just perfect. It's an ideal condition what's required for an One-Day International contest but I cannot say whether it will rain or not," said CAB pitch curator Sujan Mukherjee, who's putting in hard yards despite flu for last two days.
He said he is unable to predict a score but promised a sporting wicket for the tie.
"Who would thought 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 said.
Asked about the possibility of showers, he said: "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."