Vizag gears up for India-Oz run feast

VISAKHAPATNAM: The sun came out in all its splendour. The rain threat seems to be over although there is weather prediction of evening showers for the next two days. But the depression also moved further away from the Orissa coast. The good news is that it did not rain on Monday evening as it has been doing in the past three days. The second one-dayer between India and Australia, to be held on October 20, for sure would not go the Kochi way. The first one-day match was abandoned because of rain.

The magnificent flood-lit YS Rajasekhara-ACA-VDCA Stadium is all set to host the first ever day/night international match on Wednesday. It had earlier hosted two one-day internationals with India and Pakistan playing in 2005 and two years later, the India-Sri Lanka match. Team India was victorious on both the occasions.

The Andhra Cricket Association is not taking chances. They have taken all the precautions and have two super soppers in the event of rain. Also the drainage facilities at the stadium is excellent, play could start within 45 minutes of any heavy rain. “It has very good drainage facilities,” said PR Viswanathan, curator of BCCI.

Meanwhile, the focus was on the centre wicket here. “It is a good batting wicket. The batsman can enjoy playing here,” said Viswanathan.

The wicket was re-laid in April this year with the black cotton soil (one type of clay) being brought from Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh. “We tested the soil and is suited to these conditions,” said Kommaddi Nagamallaiah, the local groundsman.

Nagamallaiah said the wicket behaved very nicely during the BCCI-Corporate one-day tournament. “About 250 runs were scored in the day/ night Corporate Cup final,” he added.

The lush-green outfield could be a joy to the fielders.

“We put in a lot of efforts to give the ground a green look.

The Bermuda grass has come out very well and players will enjoy fielding here,” said Nagamallaiah who has been working with his dedicated staff for the last 15 days.

As for the statistical delight, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni blasted away to his maiden one-day century when he scored 148 off 123 deliveries, hitting 15 fours and four sixes against Pakistan in April, 2005.

India amassed 356/9 in 50 overs and then restricted Pakistan to 298. The then skipper Sourav Ganguly, who promoted Dhoni to bat at number three, led the team to a 58-run victory

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