Ever since the Ireland ODIs against South Africa last June, rain has interrupted every series India have played, bar the one against Pakistan. And when you also factor in the detail that rain has interrupted all the last three Tests here at the Chepauk, it wasn't surprising that showers greeted the Indian and South African teams on Monday.
But thankfully both teams got to practice. The last completed Test here incidentally, was when India beat the West Indies in a rain-affected game in October 2002. Against Australia in October 2004, the match was set up nicely with India needing 210 on the final day with all their wickets in hand. But, well, it rained! Not a ball was bowled on the last day. Then, in December 2005, rain was again the villain during the India-Sri Lanka Test. While the forecast for this week is thankfully not as bad as it was two years ago, rain is expected. But this time, even the aftermath of a heavy spell is unlikely to halt play for too long, thanks to the TNCA.
After the Lanka Test, when almost two days were lost due to a wet outfield, the TNCA re-laid the outfield and put in place an excellent drainage system. It took them four months to completely dig up the outfield, install drainage facilities and re-lay it with a layer of sand that absorbs water quickly. And it's working.