From Saturday afternoon until a few hours before the match on Sunday, the city of Visakhapatnam had been receiving persistent rains, and there were doubts about whether a complete game was even possible.
Thankfully for the capacity crowd at the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Stadium, the sun came out just in time to get the second One-Day International to go as scheduled.
From then on, Mitchell Starc (5/53) ensured that even if there was a threat of rain later in the day, it would not matter much as he blew the India batting lineup away in just about two and a half hours.
The left-arm pacer produced a fine display of swing bowling to shoot out the host for just 117, setting up a thumping ten-wicket win for Australia in the second ODI.
On a pitch that was under cover till about a few hours before the start, Aussie skipper Steve Smith had no doubts about opting to bowl first after winning the toss.
The sweating under the covers would have left enough moisture to assist the pacers, and the Australian attack made full use of it, needing only 26 overs to bowl out the Men in Blue.
India’s struggle against quality left-arm swing bowling stood exposed again as Starc ran through the top order like a hot knife through butter.
The 33-year-old struck off the third ball of the innings when Shubman Gill went for an expansive drive, playing away from his body and hitting it straight to the point fielder. Skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli started well with a few boundaries, while Starc struggled to find his rhythm.
In the fifth over, the tall left-arm seamer hit his stride and removed Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav off successive deliveries.
Starc found Rohit’s edge when the India skipper went for a drive on the up, with Smith taking a good catch after fumbling initially at first slip. On the next ball, in a carbon copy of his dismissal from Mumbai, Suryakumar was trapped plumb in front to a delivery that swung and seamed into the right-hander at ferocious pace.
Like Suryakumar, K.L. Rahul too was out leg-before to a delivery from Starc that moved in sharply into him as he played all over it, reducing India to 39 for four in the ninth over.
Nathan Ellis - who came in for Glenn Maxwell - accounted for Kohli, who looked fine until he played across to a fuller delivery before having Ravindra Jadeja caught behind.
Sean Abbott also chipped in with three wickets, including that off Hardik Pandya, caught brilliantly by Smith in one hand while diving full stretch at first slip.
Fittingly, Starc finished the Indian innings when he breached Mohammed Siraj’s defence to take his ninth five-wicket haul in ODIs.
Chasing a modest total, openers Mitchell Marsh (66 n.o., 36b, 6x4, 6x6) and Travis Head (51 n.o., 30b, 10x4) swatted the Indian bowling attack across the park with disdain as Australia romped home in style in just 11 overs to force the three-match series into a decider in Chennai on Wednesday.