India, Australia arrive for final ODI in Goa

India, Australia arrive for final ODI in Goa

After the first ODI was washed off in Kochi, India won the second match by five wickets yesterday at Vizag to take an unassailable 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The Australians arrived here with only 12 playing members after injured speedster Doug Bollinger and key middle order batsman Michael Hussey flew home at the conclusion of the second match.

Cricket Australia's Communications advisor Lachy Patterson, who is traveling with the visiting team, said that no replacements have been called for as the October 24 fixture was the concluding tie of the rubber.

"Yes, that's correct. We have come here with 12 players. There won't be any replacements (for Bollinger and Hussey), as this is the final match," he told PTI. The two teams are set to have their first practice sessions at the Nehru Stadium here tomorrow.

Goa has been experiencing off-season rains over the last few days but with the sun coming out in full force the wicket has dried out nicely. Pitch curator Narayan Raju from Bangalore said the wicket for the match, which was damp following incessant rains over the last few days, has dried up well thanks in large measure to the bright sunshine yesterday and today.

"Even if it rains on the eve of the match we have provision to cover 90 per cent of the ground and the match can commence in time," he told PTI. The last two matches at this venue have gone in India's favour – after they had lost the earlier three ties.

India defeated England by 49 runs in 2005-06 and got the better of Sri Lanka in 2006-07, the last ODI held here, by five wickets. But Australia too have a wonderful record here, having won on both occasions they have played at this ground.

The Aussies won the inaugural tie held here as part of the MRF World Series in 1989-90, beating Sri Lanka by 20 runs. Their next fixture here was against India, which the Kangaroos won by four wickets in 2000-01.

Sunday's match would be the eighth ODI to be held in Goa, with all matches – barring the washed-out Wills World Series fixture between New Zealand and the West Indies in 1994-95 -- producing a result.