New Delhi: Despite the leaden eyed skies threaten to play spoilsport at the Eden Gardens, the Indian team led by Virat Kohli will look to retain the momentum when they take on the mighty Aussies in a high-voltage encounter in Kolkata on Thursday.
The hosts had a great start to their campaign against Australia as they decimated the visitors by 26 runs in a rain-truncated chase at Chennai on Sunday.
In order to have any chance of taking the series, the Steve Smith led side will have to emerge victorious against the high on confidence Indian side.
Indian team decided to not to train after the covers were back after a brief spell of sunshine. There was an option of indoor training but the Indian cricketers played a little fun football game at the Eden Gardens lawn area and disappeared for the team hotel.
While, The Australian team on Wednesday was again forced to train indoors. But, all the members of the visiting side including skipper Steve Smith and Coach Darren Lehman had a good look at the 22 yard strip, which is expected to play crucial role in Thursday’s high-voltage encounter.
Asked about the wicket on offer for tomorrow's game, Smith said there was a little bit of grass on it.
“Probably more than I've seen in India for a while. It looks alright. Few cracks up and down the wicket but I don't think it will play a big part. Looks like the wicket has been used somewhere," he said.
"I will have another look tomorrow; see what the weather is doing. The curator might roll it a bit more or cut it. We will have another look in the morning and decide our team then."
On the other hand, Skipper Virat Kohli has decided to trim the weight of his bat to 1150 grams from 1200 grams. The lighter weight bat will allow him to play more strokes and it is equipped for better handling of the ball.
In team news, the hosts are expected to give Ajinkya Rahane another to open the innings with Rohit Sharma. Rahane failed in the first ODI, managing just 5 runs from 15 deliveries.
While, the visitors will again miss services of Aaron Finch, who missed Chennai ODI due to calf injury and Hilton Cartwright, who made his debut in the previous game is expected to keep his place.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.
Australia: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Patrick Cummins, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade (wk), Adam Zampa