India and Australia share T20I series after wet outfield spoils decider
The third and final Twenty20 International between India and Australia in Hyderabad was abandoned due to a wet outfield and this resulted in Virat Kohli and David Warner sharing the trophy after the series ended 1-1india vs australia 2017 Updated: Oct 13, 2017 22:16 IST
The 30,000-odd spectators at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium were expecting cracker of a contest between India and Australia. Instead, they were left disappointed with the T20I series decider getting called off due to wet outfield, despite no rain in this part of the city.
Virat Kohli-led Indian cricket team thus shared the Twenty20 International series 1-1 with the Australian cricket team, led by David Warner. This is the second time the Men in Blue shared a series with Australia, having drawn a series in Australia in 2011-12.
The cancellation will be remembered as a bad advertisement for Hyderabad Cricket Association, which could not get the ground ready despite no rain for the major part of the last two days.
There was one inspection at 7:00 pm by match referee Sir Richie Richardson and the second inspection was at 7:45 pm. Richardson, during his outfield inspection, dabbed his feet on those patches and it seemed to go deep.
The match was ultimately called off at 8:15 pm.
The ground was not deemed safe for the players, according to a HCA official. The spectators who bought the tickets will be refunded in due time, he added.
Pedestal fans used
After a delayed start on Friday, groundsmen could be seen frantically spreading sawdust on wet patches on the outfield. A day before, pedestal fans were used on the same spots to dry those patches in time.
Richardson, during his outfield inspection, dabbed his feet on those patches it seemed to go deep. There were two rounds of inspection as the match got delayed as the full house crowd waited in expectation.
An official who was present at the ground, during the inspection, said some spots on the outfield looked terrible. In fact, during the practice session when Virat Kohli hit a ball and it landed on the wet patch, it did not bounce. The severity of the dampness can be gauged by this.
Though the city has been receiving rain this past week, Hyderabad Cricket Association officials said that they took every precaution to protect the field of play, adding that the inner circle and pitch did not have any problem. However, a groundsman, who did not want to be quoted, had said on Thursday that the damp spots on the outfield were quite serious.
Surprisingly, the field received bright sun for majority of Thursday as well as Friday. It rained for an hour in the evening on Thursday, but curator YL Chandrasekhar had said they are confident of getting the field ready.
This is the second time in two years that a match has been called off in India due to poor outfield. Last time a match was called off in India due to wet outfield was at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata in 2015 when India took on South Africa.