It was a day earmarked for travel and rest, but the sight of a well-manicured cricket ground and bright sunshine proved irresistible. The India team travelled to the Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Stadium on Monday afternoon for their first action of this ODI series.
After the first ODI in Kochi met a watery grave, the players were grateful for the opportunity to finally push themselves. They spent nearly two hours at the stadium, which looks in top shape, with its lush green outfield and hard pitches.
This was a complete contrast to Kochi, where the outfield was soggy and strewn with gravel, so much so that curator, K Parthasarathy, later admitted that the injury risk would have been too high for the players to even contemplate getting on the park for the first game.
The stadium in Visakhaptnam is relatively new, having hosted just two ODIs since its debut in the 2004-05 season. Prior to that, matches were held at the Indira Priyadarshini Stadium here.
While there have been intermittent showers here, Monday was dry and though humidity will pose a challenge of its own, the hot weather will ensure that both teams will be optimistic of getting a full game on Wednesday.
India have won both matches played at this ground so far, the first being against Pakistan in 2005 when MS Dhoni made 148 in a 58-run triumph and the second a brisk chase against Sri Lanka in 2007.