India vs New Zealand: Rain threatens to disrupt keenly-poised Test

  • Sharad Deep, Hindustan Times, Kanpur
  • Updated: Sep 23, 2016 20:13 IST
Kanpur: Groundsmen cover the pitch as it rains during the first Test match between India and New Zealand at Green Park in Kanpur on Friday. PTI Photo by Atul Yadav (PTI9_23_2016_000083A) (PTI)

There were grim faces even before the covers came on at the Green Park on Friday, the rain-hit second day of the first Test between India and New Zealand.

The meteorological department has forecast heavy rain over the next three days, and if that happens, the venue will have another draw to its name.

“There was already a loss of 34 overs today (Friday) due to rain and not even two full sessions could be played,” said curator Shiv Kumar. “If the prediction comes true, a result is unlikely, which is alarming,” he added.

Of the 21 Tests so far, Green Park has witnessed 12 drawn games, and this could be the first time a Test will be drawn due to bad weather. “There are all the ingredients in the pitch for a result-oriented tie, and I was expecting some turn today, but rain played spoilsport,” said the curator.

He said the pitch would start to offer purchase, as it happens in a Test wicket, but it depended on the weather. “Removing rain water from the covers is difficult and tiring, but we are still hopeful of good cricket over the next three days.”

Even the Black Caps’ batting coach Craig McMillan looked worried. “There was quite a bit of rain when you look at those covers. Yes, it’s frustrating, but there was rain forecast yesterday (Thursday) and that’s what happens sometimes around the world,” he said, adding, “We’ll start a bit earlier tomorrow (Saturday) and make up half an hour and that’s the way it is.”

Though India batting coach Sanjay Bangar didn’t comment on the weather, he expressed frustration on losing bowling opportunities due to the early end. “Ideally, we would have loved to have the number of overs we lost today. It started to turn a bit, and the bowlers were getting into a good rhythm. The break of rain and intermittent breaks definitely hampered the rhythm of our bowlers,” he said. “That is something we need to be aware of and if somebody has come out with a ploy like that we have to negotiate that,” he said.

Meanwhile, a drive against mosquitoes inside the stadium was initiated late on Friday as the city is already severely affected by dengue and chikungunya.

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