Teams now head to Visakhapatnam for the second match
The rain gods kept their date with another ODI match between India and Australia. The last time the teams squared up in India, at Mumbai's D.Y. Patil Stadium, inclement weather had washed out the final clash of a seven-match series and Ricky Ponting's men returned home with their warm glow of a 4-2 triumph.
Cut to the present, the rains rumbled across in the morning and that along with the after-effects of a pre-dawn downpour washed out the first ODI of the three-match Airtel series at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium here on Sunday.
Match referee Chris Broad along with umpires Billy Bowden and Amiesh Saheba had inspected the ground at 9 a.m. and further inspections were scheduled for 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. but once the skies opened up again, the match was abandoned.
Ironically the sun was out the moment the decision was announced.
The wet weather over the last week, had paved the way for some sunshine on Saturday and that stirred up the enthusiasm of the fans, who packed the galleries, wearing their ‘blue' t-shirts gifted by Nike.
The fans had another reason to nurse their hopes as on a dank October day in 2007, the rains on the match's eve failed to affect the clash between India and Australia, which the visitors won by 84 runs.
However whispers of a wash-out hung heavily after the air turned damp following the morning showers.
Curator Parthasarathy Kannan, who along with the ground staff made futile efforts to dry the outfield, said: “The wicket was wonderful but we have no control over the weather. The outfield was wet and the rains interrupted our efforts. We tried our best.”
The Indian and Australian players remained cooped up in their hotel rooms.
A sense of boredom had surely crept into their spirits and on Saturday, Indian skipper M.S. Dhoni said: “We couldn't do much after landing here.
“We had a team meeting but we couldn't do anything after that. We wished we had practice but the conditions in the ground were inappropriate. It is better to have some rest rather than go there to the ground and see that nothing is possible.”
Michael Clarke said: “All the boys are sick of just going to the gym. We haven't done much really to be honest. We did a lot of rehab-work, recovery, strengthening and conditioning and spent some time in the swimming pool. We are really keen to get outside and play.”
The Australian captain also spoke about winding up the tour with an ODI series triumph, in a sense a partial redemption after losing the Test series 0-2.
Now with just two matches left on this tour, Australia has to win both the games to nurse smiles and confidence ahead of the Ashes. India and Australia, were primed to test bench strength in this series.
The teams will now head to Visakhapatnam for the second match on October 20.
The weather updates hint at rains sweeping across the Andhra Pradesh coast and the cricketers will keep their fingers crossed.