India aim to keep all-win record intact at Vizag | other | Hindustan Times
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India aim to keep all-win record intact at Vizag

other Updated: Oct 19, 2010 13:20 IST

Back in their happy-hunting ground, an upbeat India will look to take the lead against a wounded and depleted Australia in the second ODI here on Wednesday after the series-opener was washed out in Kochi.

The three-ODI series has now been reduced to a two-match affair after the first match in Kochi two days ago was abandoned before a ball could be bowled because of heavy rains.

Back-to-back losses in the recently-concluded two-Test series have dented the world champion Australia's pride and they would be looking to get back at the hosts at the Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy ADA-VDCA Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

Known for their fighting spirit, Australia have won every one-day series in India since 1998 and the pressure will clearly be on Michael Clarke who had a barren Test series that added fuel to criticism against him.

Clarke will lead a side light on experience after regular skipper Ricky Ponting, all-rounder Shane Watson and pacer Mitchell Johnson were rested from the series, while the fast bowling stocks were further thinned by injuries to Shaun Tait, Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle among others.

For Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men, it is all about carrying on the momentum on a ground where India have won all the two matches they have played.

It was at the same venue that Dhoni had announced his arrival on the big stage with a 123-ball 148 against Pakistan in what was his fifth ODI on April 5, 2005.

Playing hard and true, unlike typical Indian wickets, the Vizag strip saw a total of 654 runs scored with India winning comfortably.

India followed it with a win over Sri Lanka in the second ODI that the stadium hosted on February 17, 2007.

Dhoni did not get a chance to bat then as Yuvraj Singh guided the team home and the Team India skipper would look for another big knock when the match is played here tomorrow for the first time under lights.

Bright and sunny weather here means that the cricket starved crowd of the coastal city in Andhra Pradesh will witness an international match after about four years.

Star players including Sachin Tendulkar and Ponting being rested, the series is seen as a battle of upcoming prospects in the two cricketing powerhouses ahead of the ICC World Cup early next year.

Dhoni will lead a new-look Indian side in absence of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, while the bowling department will see the absence of speedster Zaheer Khan and spinners Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha.