The rain gods are conspiring to push Mahendra Singh Dhoni & co into a corner. Trailing Australia 1-2 in the ongoing ODI series, the Indians’ hopes of drawing level at the Barabati Stadium is fast disappearing, thanks to continuous rain and the resultant flooding in this historic town, and at the playing venue.

Flanked by the Mahanadi on the northern side and the Kadjodi river on the southern side, Cuttack has been experiencing non-stop rain for the past four days, leaving the venue of the fifth ODI almost inundated, and the nearby capital city of Bhubaneswar, where the teams are staying, in danger of flooding.

The two teams flew in to Bhubaneswar on schedule this evening, and were whisked away to their hotel amid tight security.

The East Zone member of the BCCI’s Pitches & Grounds committee, Ashish Kumar Bhowmik, who is in Cuttack to oversee the preparation of the playing surface, was aghast to see water on the field when he arrived this morning.

“We are trying our best to ready the ground, but rain is not relenting,” he said over phone.

The Odisha Cricket Association is willing to throw in more men and material to ready the playing arena for the Saturday’s match, but the elements are preventing all efforts.

Susanta Ghose, former Odisha batsman, remarked that he has never encountered so much rain during this month.

“I am unable to remember when Cuttack last received so much rain in October. Normal life has been disrupted. It will be a miracle if even a shortened match is played,” Ghose said.

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